Study: Drivers more likely to text behind the wheel if their friends do

A new study discovered that young people are more likely to text behind the wheel if their friends also text and drive.

Many different factors can impact whether or not drivers in Ohio decide to pick up their cellphone and text when they are behind the wheel of a vehicle. However, a new study reveals that young people are more likely to text and drive if their friends do.

To come to this conclusion, U.S. News states that the University of Maryland School of Public Health surveyed 861 college students about how often they used a cellular device while driving. More than 50 percent of the participants said they had instant messaged behind the wheel at least once in the past month, and those who reported that they engaged in this dangerous activity were more likely to participate in other risky driving activities.

Why is texting and driving so dangerous?

Texting and driving is an extremely dangerous form of distracted driving because, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it combines all three types of driver distraction. These include:

  • Manual distraction-Drivers become manually distracted when they take their hands away from the steering wheel as their vehicle is in motion.
  • Cognitive distraction-This type of distraction occurs when drivers start thinking about something else other than driving.
  • Visual distraction-When drivers take their eyes away from the road in front of them, they are visually distracted.

Drivers who ignore the dangers of texting and driving, and distracted driving in general, cause injurious and fatal car accidents every day in the U.S. The CDC states that on a daily basis, over 1,000 people are injured and nine people die in accidents involving driver distraction.

Texting and driving laws in Ohio

To reduce the number of people who are injured or killed in texting and driving-related accidents in Ohio, the state has enacted a texting and driving ban. According to the Ohio Administrative Code, under this law, drivers are prohibited from using a handheld device to write, send or read text messages while their vehicle is in motion. However, there are exceptions to this law. For example, drivers are still permitted to read, select or enter a name or telephone number in their phone as they drive using a cellphone in order to make or receive a phone call.

Since exceptions to Ohio's texting and driving ban exist, many drivers continue to be injured or killed in accidents involving distraction. Those recently injured in a car accident caused by a distracted driver may benefit from reaching out to an attorney at Lamkin, Van Eman, Trimble & Dougherty, LLC to determine what their rights are regarding fair and proper compensation.