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Middle Aged Drivers Talk and Text on Cellphones while Driving Too

Middle-Aged drivers are texting and using cellphones while driving.
Maybe it’s time to take away our allowance? It turns out that teenagers aren’t the only ones who text and drive. Middle-aged drivers do it too and are at a higher risk of causing a car crash because of it, according to a study by the University of California, San Diego.  The research found that most middle-aged drivers admit to using their cell phones regularly while driving, even with children in the car; drivers also feel pressured to answer work calls while driving.
More than one in four car accidents are caused by cell phone use, says the National Safety Council (NSC). A driver’s crash risk increases eight-fold if they are texting; even talking hands-free makes drivers four times more likely to be involved in a crash.

The authors of the study hope companies will talk to employees about the risks associated with distracted driving, and institute policies that will discourage them from using their cell phones while in the car.

The study found that 75 percent of the participants talk on cell phones hands-free, and almost 90 percent of them consider themselves capable or very capable drivers while doing so. Less than 30 percent of participants knew that talking on a hands-free phone increases the risk of crashing to the same degree as driving at the legal alcohol limit, according to the study which was published in the Journal of Transport and Health.

“We weren’t surprised to see that relatively few people understand the risks of distracted driving,” said Jessa Engelberg, lead author of the study, in a press release. “What we were really interested in was whether factors like children and work obligations had an effect on people’s behavior.”

Apparently they do not. Middle-aged drivers continued to use their mobile phones with kids in the car and more than one-third of the participants said they felt pressure to answer a call from the office.

Maybe what we need is an app that automatically turns off our phones when we start up the ignition?

*Photo Credit: “texting and driving” By: frankieleon/Source: Flickr

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