One of the most frustrating and upsetting aspects to distracted driving is that it seems like everyone is well aware that the behavior is dangerous — and yet many people do it anyways. When it comes to teenagers, a new study found that this is especially true, and it found out why that is.
The study was published in the journal Traffic Injury Prevention, and it interviewed 30 teenagers on the subject of texting while driving. All of them understood that texting while driving was dangerous — and yet many of them admitted to doing it. How could this incredible duality possibly be?
Well, it turns out that teenagers define “texting while driving” in a very literal way. For example, some of the teenagers told researchers they didn’t text and drive. And yet they admitted to checking their phone at a red light or stop sign. Another example is that some teenagers didn’t consider checking Twitter or social media sites as “texting while driving.”
In other words, according to many of these teenagers, if you aren’t sending a text while being the driver and while actively moving in the car, then you aren’t texting while driving.
The point of this post isn’t to get angry at the teenagers for thinking this way. Instead, this should serve as an incredible example of how difficult it is to prevent texting while driving. We have a long way to go to really put a dent in the texting while driving epidemic, and learning lessons like these only makes the mountain we have to climb seem that much higher.
Source: IBN Live, “Definition of ‘texting while driving’ not same for everyone, says study,” Accessed Dec. 7, 2015