Are you kidding? Unfortunately no. In a recent distracted driving study of over 6,000 drivers undertaken by the United States Department of Transportation, only 56% 18 to 20 year olds and 52% of 21 to 24 year olds said they were likely to “say something” to a driver who was texting! They think it’s cool.
This is unfortunate because 90% of those passengers see the danger; they reported that they considered it unsafe! But they won’t say so, thus, they must think it’s cool. The numbers change dramatically when the age of the potential reporter gets older: 69% of 25 to 34 year olds report that they would say something to a driver who was texting. Once you get over 35, the percentage goes to between 73% and 84%.
In Massachusetts, it’s illegal for young drivers to use a cell phone. The study, on the other hand, indicates that 68% of young drivers are willing to answer the cell phone when it rings while they are driving. In Massachusetts, it’s illegal for anyone to text or use email while driving. But young drivers don’t speak up?
Following collisions, 8.2% of the 18-20 year olds admitted to having been texting. Any chance the real numbers are higher? Of course! Any chance the number would be lower if it was not cool? Of course. Realistically, young drivers report that talking on a cell phone a call is less concerning than texting or emailing. Nevertheless, 25% of young drivers reported that texting or emailing from a cellphone makes “no difference” in their ability to drive! The statistics and mechanics show otherwise.
Last year, also on August 2, 2011, we wrote about texting while driving in Massachusetts, informing that the Massachusetts Safe Driving Act forbids any and all texting while driving in Massachusetts.
We continue to follow this issue because many of our clients inform that they think that a driver that struck them may have been using a cell phone. This is hard to prove. In a lawsuit, we can subpoena the cell phone records of the negligent driver. However, often they are lost, destroyed, or unavailable. Thus, it is urgent to retain an experienced Massachusetts personal injury attorney as soon as you, or your loved one, is injured following a Massachusetts motor vehicle collision.
The US government has a distracted driving website because the Department of Transportation considers it so critical to get information out to folks about how dangerous it is, and how uncool it can be. They update their research regularly. They report on the statistics annually.
See our texting while driving accidents in Massachusetts article for information on how we prosecute cases for our clients who are injured as a result of another driver’s negligence from such negligent driving behaviors. Please call us for a free consultation if you, or someone you know, is killed or injured as a result of a motor vehicle collision involving a distracted driver, someone texting or talking on a cell phone. Our consultations are free. Neil Burns has been representing victims of motor vehicles in Massachusetts accidents since 1985. Call 617-227-7423.