Study: Experienced drivers may be worse at texting and driving

A new study found that experienced drivers may be worse at texting and driving than drivers in younger age groups.

When drivers in Kentucky get behind the wheel of a vehicle, some endanger the lives of other drivers, passengers and pedestrians by texting. While many may believe that inexperienced drivers are more likely to cause car accidents when they text and drive, a new study reveals that experienced drivers may actually be worse at texting and driving.

The study's specifics

To come to this conclusion, researchers at Wayne State University had 50 participants ranging in age from 18 to 59 operate driving simulators. While the participants used these simulators, those conducting the study sent them text messages asking them simple questions, like what their favorite color was.

At the conclusion of the simulation, researchers found that all of the participants between the ages of 45 to 59 and 80 percent of the drivers between the ages of 35 to 44 veered into another lane when responding to a text message. In comparison, about 25 percent of the 18 to 24-year olds and approximately 40 percent of the 25 to 34-year-olds started to enter another lane while texting.

Despite these findings, researchers are unable to determine the exact cause of this difference. However, some suspect that this variance could be attributed to the fact that younger people are better at technological multitasking or because older drivers may take longer to look at their phone and compose text messages.

Why is texting and driving dangerous?

Although this study found that older drivers may be worse at texting and operating a vehicle simultaneously, texting and driving is an activity that should be avoided by drivers of all ages because it is a particularly dangerous form of distracted driving. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, texting and driving is extremely hazardous because it combines all three forms of distraction, which include manual, visual and cognitive distraction.

Kentucky's texting ban

To prevent the pain and suffering associated with car accidents caused by distracted drivers, the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety states that it is illegal for drivers of all ages to text while behind the wheel of a vehicle. However, drivers over the age of 18 are permitted to use a global positioning device or read, select or enter a telephone number on their cellphone while their car is in motion.

Although this texting ban exists, many drivers in Kentucky and throughout the country are injured or killed in distracted driving-related collisions every day. If you were injured in a car accident caused by a negligent motorist, speak with an attorney to find out what legal steps you should take next.

Keywords: distracted, driving, texting, accident