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Pew Study Says One in Four US Adults, Teens Have Texted While Driving

by Kathy Jones on June 20, 2010 at 12:48 PM
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 Pew Study Says One in Four US Adults, Teens Have Texted While Driving

A new survey has found that US adults are just as likely as teenagers to text while driving, with one in four saying they have sent mobile phone messages while behind the wheel.

The survey by the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project also found that American adults were more likely than teenagers to talk on their cellphones while driving.


Twenty-seven percent of the adults said they have sent or read a text message while driving compared with 26 percent of teenagers.

"This data suggests that adults are now just as likely to engage in this risky behavior," said Mary Madden, co-author of the report. "Adults may be the ones sounding the alarm on the dangers of distracted driving, but they don't always set the best example themselves."

Sixty-one percent of adults said they have talked on the telephone while driving compared with 43 percent of teenagers.

Forty-nine percent of the adults said they have been passengers in a car where the driver was sending or reading text messages.

"It is just as hard for adults as it is for teenagers to resist chatting with friends and sending off that quick text even in the midst of heavy traffic," said Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Internet & American Life Project and a co-author of the report.

"Constant mobile connectivity to friends, family and colleagues is a hallmark of age and it is hard to resist even in situations where it would seem smart to stay focused on the task at hand," Rainie said.

Outside of the car, 14 of the adults say they have physically bumped into another person or an object because they were distracted by talking or texting on their phone.

The Pew survey of 2,252 adults was conducted in April and May of this year and has a margin of error of plus or minus two percentage points. The survey of 800 teens was done between June and September of last year and has a margin of error of four percentage points.

Source: AFP
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