WASHINGTON — Teenagers often get a bad rap for distracted driving, but a new survey from AAA finds that adults are guilty of more of the bad behavior.
The 2015 Traffic Safety Culture Index, a survey conducted in July and August of this year, looks at teen driving habits and their patterns of distraction behind the wheel.
The survey reveals:
- Seventy-four percent of drivers ages 16-18 say texting or emailing while driving is completely unacceptable.
- One in three teens report having done so in the last month.
- Nearly half of drivers ages 16-18 report having read a text message or email while driving in the last month.
- Three out of five drivers ages 16-18 report having talked on a cellphone of any kind while driving in the last month.
But when those statistics are compared to those for adults, teenage drivers don’t look so bad.
- Teens report texting or sending an email while driving less frequently than drivers ages 19-39.
- Teens report talking on their phone while driving significantly less often than most adults.
- Drivers ages 16-18 are less likely than drivers ages 19-59 to have talked on a cellphone while driving.
“Teens appear to be the one age group that’s getting the message,” says John Townsend, with AAA Mid-Atlantic. “It’s important for parents to model good behavior, and talk to their teens, and limit their own distractions while behind the wheel.”
Townsend also suggests parents and teens sign a no-distracted-driving pledge.
Around 2,500 teenagers were killed in car crashes in 2013, making them the most likely age group to die in an automobile accident.