Fewer teens engaging in distracted driving practices

December 17, 2013 12:00 AM

The dangers associated with distracted driving have been well publicized in an effort to get all motorists to focus on the roads. These campaigns may be working, as a recent study found that fewer young people are engaging in dangerous behaviors such as texting or using a phone. While that may be good news, there were also some surprising results to go along with it. 

According to AAA, only about 20 percent of teens report using a phone regularly when driving, along with about 27 percent of young drivers ages 19 to 24. However, nearly half of motorists ages 25 to 39 say they use a cellphone fairly often when behind the wheel, which is well above average. AAA believes that this is largely because drivers get comfortable and have confidence in their skills, leading to the thought that they can text or talk on a phone without consequences. 

Although actions like getting the right auto repair or scheduled maintenance can make a big difference in the functioning of a vehicle, the most effective way to stay safe is to focus on the road at all times.

"Using your phone while driving may seem safe, but it roughly quadruples your risk of being in a crash, according to previous research," said Jake Nelson, AAA director of traffic safety advocacy and research. "None of us is immune from the dangers of distracted driving. The best advice is to hang up and drive." 

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