More adults using cellphones while driving than teens, study shows

A AAA study has revealed that more adults admit to using cellphone while driving than teenagers. Distracted driving kills and injures thousands each year.

These days, just about everyone in Illinois and elsewhere has a cellphone. That's great, but what's not so great about mobile phones is how they're sometimes used. Far too many people still talk, text and surf the Internet while they're behind the wheel.

According to Distraction.gov, thousands of people are killed in accidents and many times more are injured by distracted drivers. It comes as no surprise to learn that teenagers are among those who are most likely to be distracted while driving. However, a large portion of people who should know better have admitted to dangerous cellphone activities while driving.

Surprising AAA study results

In a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 82 percent of adults between the ages of 25 and 39 admitted to cellphone use behind the wheel. Out of these, states CBS News, 43 percent said they do so on a regular basis. In contrast, 58 percent of teenagers said they used their phones while behind the wheel, and 7 percent said they texted while driving.

How dangerous, exactly, is texting while driving? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention categorizes driver distraction into three parts: visual, manual and cognitive. These categories signify whether a distraction takes a driver's eyes, hands or mind off the road. Texting and driving requires all three categories. When reading or sending texts, a driver is distracted in the worst possible way. Experts say that taking one's eyes off the road for a couple of seconds to read a text message while driving on the freeway is the same as driving the length of a football field blindfolded.

Preventing accidents

Since adults were discovered to use their phones so much while driving, what can be done to prevent this bad habit from being passed down to younger drivers? Parents may take the following measures with their teenagers:

• Set a good example by not using a cellphone while driving, and by obeying traffic rules.

• Establish rules and boundaries when teens begin to drive.

• Install an app on each family member's cellphone that restricts cellphone use while the car is moving.

• Agree that each family member will follow the same rules about not texting or using a cellphone at all while driving.

When children and teenagers see their parents consistently making smart decisions behind the wheel, they are much more likely to develop the same safe driving habits when they begin to drive.

It is not always possible to prevent all accidents, however, especially when another driver is being unsafe. If you are injured by another driver, you may wish to contact an experienced Illinois personal injury attorney to discuss your options about possible compensation.