Distracted driving survey shows teens have a different take

This may or may not surprise you, but car accidents kills teens more than anything else per year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But despite this clear danger to them, teenagers are ambivalent to distracted driving, at least according to a new survey — and it appears this ambivalence is largely because teenagers have a different definition of distracted driving than the definition that most people have of distracted driving.

The survey engaged 30 teenagers in a conversation about distracted driving, as researchers tried to discover what teens think about this dangerous behavior. What researchers found is that even though teens know it is dangerous, they simply don’t see certain behaviors classified as “distracted driving” as, in fact, distracted driving.

For example, some teenagers made it clear that they didn’t engage in the dangerous behavior of distracted driving. And yet in the same conversation, these teens would say they freely would check their phone while behind the wheel of a car if they were at a stop sign or red light.

Clearly, teens know that distracted driving is dangerous, but they are taking the term “texting while driving” quite literally. In other words, according to teens, if you aren’t moving while driving the car, they feel as though you can safely check your phone.

It’s a very interesting revelation about a very serious and important topic. Ultimately, though, no matter who is behind the wheel, if they are distracted while driving — may it be due to a cellphone or being lost in thought — that person can be held liable in the wake of any accident they cause. 

Source: IBN Live, “Definition of ‘texting while driving’ not same for everyone, says study,” Dec. 7, 2015