Study: Younger drivers may be better at texting and driving

May 7, 2016

A new study reveals that younger drivers may be better at texting behind the wheel of a vehicle than those in older age groups.

Most drivers in West Virginia are aware that texting and driving is a dangerous activity that threatens the lives of other drivers, passengers and pedestrians. However, a new study reveals that younger drivers may actually be better at and less likely to cause car accidents while texting and driving than older drivers.

How the study was conducted

U.S. News states that the researchers split up the participants into four different groups based on age. Then, the participants were asked to operate a driving simulator that created a realistic roadway experience for 30 minutes. At some point during the testing session, each driver was required to drive the simulator 50 to 60 mph for several minutes and conduct a text messaging conversation using one hand.

Researchers discovered that nearly all of the drivers in the oldest age group would veer into the oncoming lane of traffic as they tried to text while only one-quarter of those in the youngest age group, or those between the ages of 18 to 24, made this same mistake. Researchers are still unable to determine exactly why the older drivers did not do as well while texting as those in the younger age groups.

Texting and driving is dangerous for all drivers

Although this study suggests that younger drivers may be better at texting and driving, its authors stress that this does not mean that texting and driving is a safe activity for any age group. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, texting and driving is one of the most dangerous forms of driver distraction because it combines all three different types of distraction. When irresponsible drivers use their phones to conduct a text messaging conversation, they become manually, visually and cognitively distracted.

West Virginia’s distracted driving laws

To prevent the number of drivers who choose to text and drive behind the wheel, West Virginia has enacted several laws related to cell phone use and driving. For example, according to the West Virginia Legislature, drivers are not permitted to operate a vehicle on a public street or on a highway and text or use their cell phone, unless they are using a hands-free system.

However, many drivers disobey laws like this, text while their vehicle is in motion and cause injurious and fatal car accidents. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every day in the U.S., over 1,000 people are injured in distracted driving-related accidents and more than nine people are killed. If you sustained injuries in a motor vehicle collision in West Virginia caused by a distracted driver, speak with an attorney to find out what compensation may be available to you.