By now, you have probably heard that distracted driving—particularly
involving cell phone use while driving—has become a leading cause
of auto accidents. In fact, the National Safety Council estimates that
more than one in four auto accidents is caused by cellphone use. Studies
monitoring this behavior have largely focused college students and young
people, but in a new study just released by the University of California
San Diego, older drivers seem just as susceptible to this alarming habit.
Science Daily reports, researchers modified a survey they had used to gather data on college
students, but this time provided it to drivers between the ages 30 and
64. The results were troubling: of the 715 people who were surveyed, 75%
of them admitted to talking on the phone hands-free. Of those drivers,
90% believed themselves capable drivers while talking hands-free and less
than 30% of all participants knew that talking hands-free while driving
was potentially dangerous (about as dangerous as driving at the legal
"One of the things we were worried about in the 30-64 age group was
whether they would use their phones while driving as frequently as the
teenagers and young adults did, especially with kids in the car,"
Professor Linda Hill, co-author of the study said. "The thing about
middle-aged drivers is their passengers tend to be minors, and there's
an issue of modeling if the adults are teaching them how to drive."
New Prevention Efforts
After reviewing the new data, the California Office for Traffic Safety
began working with companies to help spread awareness among their employees.
This was particularly important since many of the survey participants
reported that they felt pressure to answer the phone while driving when
the calls were work-related.
"The survey really helped us design something that would change behavior
and we're excited we've been able to use it to make a difference,"
Professor Hill added about the awareness program. "People need to
hear information about the risks of distracted driving from different
sources, like public health, law enforcement and family. We're now
working to get the message out, and hope to set up a system where we train
trainers around the country."
Have you been hurt by a distracted driver? If so, it is absolutely time
to start exploring your legal options. At my firm,
The Law Offices of Eugene G. Bruno, P.C., I have been helping victims of car accidents recover the compensation
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