It’s become a trope in real life and in media that millennials are always glued to their phones. However, the smartphone habit can be detrimental and even dangerous. You may recall AT&T’s recent “It Can Wait“ commercial campaign, encouraging drivers to put down their phones while behind the wheel, often targeting younger drivers. Unfortunately the problem still persists.
As USA Today reports, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety recently conducted a survey on distracted drivers and found that Millennials are the most dangerous among the bunch. But it goes beyond just phone usage. As a group, 88% admitted to speeding, running a red light, or – yes, you saw it coming – text while driving within the last 30 days.
But that last point on texting becomes even more alarming. Taking a closer look at the data reveals that millennials aren’t just slightly more likely to look at their phones in the driver’s seat – they were twice as likely as other drivers to type an email or text while driving. Even scarier is that many Millennials didn’t think it was wrong to drive while texting or speeding or other dangerous behavior.
This study comes at a time when national highway deaths are increasing and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been trying to determine the cause. Often times accident reports won’t state the reason for a crash being the driver talking on their phone, texting, etc. This makes it extremely difficult for researchers to determine the actual cause.
What this AAA study reveals is that our use of cellphones while driving along with a general attitude towards our driving is causing our roads to become more dangerous. One of the best things to do to help relieve this is to educate the public, especially the younger generations who will be driving for decades to come. If it’s not resolved now, it will become a full-on epidemic once habits become completely solidified. Washington state is already looking at strengthening their already in place distracted driving laws, adding heftier penalties for those who just can’t put down their phone. Time will tell if this proposed bill will have any impact or if it will even pass, but now is not a time to wait and see.
For parents of young drivers, this means taking even more time to talk with your teenagers about the dangers their phone habits can have. Driving instructors are already hitting this point hard, but added reinforcement never hurts. For millennials who are already obeying these laws, perhaps those on the older end of the scale, they should be doing their part to keep their peers accountable. Hopefully this will lead to a drastic decrease in accidents across the board.
If you find yourself the victim of a distracted driver, we can help. Elsner Law Firm specializes in car accident cases. If you can prove that the liable party was distracted by a device during the incident, you can have a strong case that we’ll be happy to assist you with but it’s not completely necessary. We can guide you through the process of moving beyond your accident and getting on with your life.