Many older people – especially senior citizens – do not use cell phones nearly as often or with as much sophistication as teens do. Problematically, this behavior, almost seeming addictive in some youth, is extremely common behind the wheel of a moving vehicle.
Even worse than talking on a mobile phone while driving is trying to text or e-mail. And according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 60 percent of high school seniors surveyed admitted that they do so.
It would be like asking an older person if he or she would be comfortable typing while driving, and a cellular phone is harder to see and requires greater dexterity than a traditional keyboard, taking even more concentration off the road.
An Associated Press article on msnbc.com cited a researcher at the Pew Research Center for the statistic that an average teenager sends or receives around 100 texts every day, being the most common communication method for many of them. It just doesn’t stop when they get in the car, even though they know it’s dangerous.
Teenage distracted drivers on the road are a real threat to public safety. Young drivers are already more inexperienced and less mature, and should be keeping distractions to an absolute minimum.
If you are a teen, put the phone in the glove compartment. If you are a parent, be sure your teen understands these dangers, for his or her own sake as well as that of other drivers and passengers. A texting teen responsible for a car accident that harms another person would have a terrible emotional burden to bear for doing so.
Source: msnbc.com, “CDC: Nearly 60 percent of teens text while driving,” Mike Stobbe, June 7, 2012