Distracted driving is, without a doubt, one of the more pressing issues we must deal with in our modern, digitally driven world. All it takes is a few clicks on one’s keyboard to see the statistics of cellphone use behind the wheel. For example, at any given moment, there are around 660,000 people using their phones while driving, according to edgarsnyder.com.
But what’s even more shocking is the age group which com- prises a large part of that number: young to middle-age adults, according to a study done by AT&T.
Yeah, thats right; it’s not high schoolers that are taking their eyes off the road to send a tweet, but adults who should know better (and 98 percent of them do know it’s wrong, according to AT&T) than to text or do other distracting behaviors while driving.
And yet, public service announcements that warn against texting and driving are still aimed at younger generations.
It is important to note that this is a recent transition. According to AT&T’s study, 60 percent of adults said that they didn’t participate in distracted driving, like sending texts and calling people, three years ago. This could explain why there is still an emphasis on teens and young adults being the main ones who text and drive since it can take a little while for the media to catch up with social and political trends at times.
But what is the point of all these numbers and statistics and why should we care about this change in trends?
This discussion about the disconnect between the ones who are suspected to be the main source of distracted driving and the actual perpetrators comes after the recent hit-and-run that occurred in Corpus Christi on Mar. 27 at the corner of Mustang Trail and South Staples.
The victims were two high school students who were at- tending King High School and the driver was a 42-year-old man who wasn’t paying attention and ran a red light, consequently hitting the two girls and killing one on impact.
And the reason why this man ran the red light? He looked away so that he could grab a pack of cigarettes, according to official documents cited by the Caller Times.
While this man wasn’t on his phone, he still engaged in distracted driving behaviors which,like texting and driving, most adults know is wrong to do. Not a teenager, not a young millennial but a middle-aged man was the one who couldn’t keep his attention on the road long enough to see the two high school students walking on the crosswalk.
However, we still see teenagers and young adults “being the problem.”
From my own experience, I’ve noticed that, while people around my age tend to fiddle with their phones while driving, it’s more often than not that I have been in the car with an adult who is talking on their phone or eating while driving or both.
When considering what I’ve observed and the recent tragedy involving an adult and distracted driving,it’s obvious teens aren’t the only culprits, or even the worst offenders of distracted driving in our modern society.