We all know that texting while driving is dangerous, something that was certainly confirmed again in a recent study by Wayne State University Researchers. Using a driving simulator, lane excursions while texting were measured (middle of the car departing from driving lane into opposing lane of travel or onto the shoulder). Roughly 50% of the overall participants who considered themselves “skilled texters” exhibited lane excursions while texting on the simulator. No lane excursions were noted when drivers were not texting. However, the most striking aspect of the study was the effect of age on lane excursions. While drivers aged 18-25 had 20% lane excursions, those aged 25-34, 35-44 and over 44 had 40%, 80% and 100% lane excursions, respectively.
The authors clearly stated their study should not be taken to suggest that younger drivers, or drivers of any age group, should take chances texting while driving. One might have thought that with driving experience the effect of distractions would diminish, but, that was not the case. Perhaps, younger drivers are more technologically adept and those skills help younger drivers avoid lane excursions by being able to spend less time looking way from the road than older drivers.