Does Driver Experience Affect the Risks of Texting and Driving?

Does Driver Experience Affect the Risks of Texting and Driving? 1

By now most people are aware of the risks of distracted driving, and of texting while driving in particular. Most of the research in the area has focused on younger, more inexperienced drivers who text and drive. But what about the more mature, experienced driver? Are they better able to handle the distractions afforded by texting while driving?

According to a recent study published in the January issue of Accident Analysis and Prevention examining this issue, the answer to this question should give the experienced driver some pause for thought, particularly when he or she is considering reaching for that cellphone while driving. Why? Researchers from Wayne State University discovered that texting and driving may be even more dangerous for the mature, experienced driver than it is for the new, young driver.

The study involved the participation of 50 people between the ages of 18 and 59 who were categorized into two groups depending on whether or not they described themselves as being highly skilled at texting. The participants were then placed at the helm of driving simulators and sent text messages by the researchers. The text messages required simple answers from the driver, such as the name of their favorite color.

Researchers found that older, more experienced drivers in the group of self-described highly skilled texters were far more likely to veer into other lanes when reading or replying to text messages, with 100 percent of the highly skilled texters aged 45 to 59 veering into other lanes and 80 percent of those aged 35 to 44 doing so. The younger skilled texters actually performed better, with 40 percent of those aged 25 to 34 veering into other lanes and 25 percent of those aged 18 to 24 doing so.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, younger drivers are far more likely to have been texting during or near a crash. But given these recent research results, the older, more experienced driver should not be overconfident of his or her ability to reach of that phone while driving. The overall takeaway? No-one should text and drive. The risks are much too high.

If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a traffic accident involving distracted driving, an experienced Texas personal injury attorney can help you receive the compensation to which you are entitled. Robert Greening is the principal attorney at Greening Law, P.C. He has dedicated his 24 years of practice to the litigation of wrongful death and serious injury cases. If you have any questions, contact Greening Law, P.C. at 972-934-8900.