Drivers caught texting in Virginia can be pulled over and fined $125 for their first offense. Experienced personal injury attorneys know that the consequences of such negligence can be far worse than a fine. Drivers who pay more attention to their cell phone than the road ahead can cause an accident resulting in serious injuries or death. While the danger of texting is well-known, texting accidents continue to happen in Roanoke, Cave Spring, Vinton and throughout Virginia.
If you think that younger drivers are the only ones who tap on their phones while driving, thing again. A recent study reveals that while texting while driving is commonly associated with younger drivers, many older and more experienced drivers text behind the wheel. These seasoned motorists also may face increased likelihood of being in a serious car accident as a result.
Study reveals dangers of texting and driving among older, experienced drivers
According to the Washington Post, the study, which will be published in the January issue of the journal Accident Analysis and Prevention, was conducted by researchers at Wayne State University. The study used driving simulators to gauge distraction levels among 50 drivers between ages 18 and 59 years old.
The Washington Post report indicated that researchers asked participants a series of simple questions, such as their favorite color, to test their texting prowess. Researchers found that half of the highly skilled texters (participants who said they texted a lot, could text one-handed and owned smartphones) began veering into other lanes while sending or receiving texts.
Among older drivers who claim to be highly skilled texters, researchers found that 80 percent of 35- to 44-year-olds veered into other lanes. Disturbingly, every participant between ages 45 and 59 were observed veering into other lanes while sending or reading a text message, according to the article.
Researchers said that while they aren't sure why older drivers face increased likelihood of veering into other traffic lanes while texting, it's possible that older drivers take longer glances at their cell phone while texting behind-the-wheel. In addition, other older drivers may simply be unfamiliar with the technology compared to younger drivers.
Distracted driving a public safety concern affecting all drivers
According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, 421,000 people were injured and 3,328 people were killed in car crashes involving a distracted driver in 2012 alone. Yet despite these sobering statistics, a 2011 CDC study found that one in every three adults across the United States reported having recently sent or read a text message while driving.
While researchers acknowledge that younger drivers are much more likely to text than older drivers, the Washington Post article suggests that educational efforts, such as billboards and anti-texting campaigns, should not focus exclusively on younger drivers and include experienced drivers who may feel overly-confident about their driving abilities.
As any law enforcement official, accident victim or attorney in Virginia knows, there is no one age group that should believe it's safe to take their eyes off the road to send or read text messages, visit social media websites, check email or engage in any other task that endangers all other drivers on the road.
If you were injured or a loved one was injured or died in a car accident, contact an experienced Roanoke car accident attorney today. Contact Davis, Davis, Davis & Davis today at 866-434-1581 for a free case consultation.