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Majority of Teens Use Apps and Drive

Jason Reese

We’ve written about distracted driving and the impact of our technology on our roadway safety before, but a new study is shedding light on exactly how many people are engaging in dangerous distractions while behind the wheel. Research conducted by Liberty Mutual Insurance and Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) looked at the various behavior and beliefs of teen drivers. The results are not encouraging and prove we need to find new ways of communicating to and convincing our teens about driving safety.

27% of teens still admit to texting and driving, despite huge public safety campaigns aimed at decreasing the behavior. Even teens who do not text and drive fall prey to other distractions in the car. The Liberty Mutual/SADD survey shows that teens believe using apps, such as Facebook or Instagram, while driving are not nearly as dangerous as texting and driving. In fact, nearly 70% of teens surveyed said they used apps while driving.

A separate study by the National Safety Council surveyed individuals of all age groups and found the following:

  • 74% would use Facebook while driving;
  • 37% would use Twitter while driving;
  • 35% would use YouTube while driving;
  • 33% would use Instagram while driving.

In an interesting twist, research has shown the teens most likely to text and drive or engage in other tech-based distractions while driving are those with high conscientiousness scores. While the primary trait exhibited by adults engaging in distracted driving behaviors is extroversion, teens who engage behind the wheel are more likely to feel the responsibility to respond or interact with others, whether out of pure conscientiousness or combined with a desire to make others happy.

Pokemon GO is the New, Hot Distraction

If you haven’t heard of Pokemon GO yet, you must be hiding under a rock. The mobile game has taken over, with millions of players venturing out on long walk and drives while glued to their phones in the hunt for Pokemon. Many have pointed out the social and fitness benefits of this new craze, but there is also a dark side to the game. There have been robberies, assaults, and deadly accidents where people fell off of cliffs while playing the game. Pokemon has also highlighted the dangerous use of such apps while driving, as there have been a handful of accidents involving car accidents with other vehicles, with stationary objects, and with pedestrians playing the game. While Pokemon GO is unlikely to become a major cause of accidents, its intense popularity highlights the use of apps behind the wheel.

If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident due to a distracted driver, the Indianapolis-based attorneys at Wagner Reese can help. We have decades of experience representing victims of vehicle accidents and have restored millions of dollars to those who have been injured by another’s wrongdoing. If you are looking for knowledgeable attorneys who will fight for you, call us today for your FREE consultation: (888) 204-8440.


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