Plymouth Rock Assurance, a New Jersey auto insurance group, released the results last month of a new distracted driving study providing insights from Digital Natives, the first generation born into a digital world. The online poll of 1,000 New Jersey-based drivers (ages 17-25) found 73 percent had witnessed a friend texting while driving and 70 percent had witnessed a friend using a phone without hands-free technology. Interestingly, the study also revealed that many young drivers are “mimicking the behavior of their parents.” Twenty-five percent of young drivers have witnessed a parent texting while driving and 57 percent have witnessed a parent using a phone without hands-free technology.
Despite these behaviors, young drivers recognized the danger and cited texting while driving as one of the biggest safety problems on New Jersey’s roads. Texting while driving has surpassed both drunk driving and aggressive driving as dangerous behaviors and young drivers have indicated that they do not approve; 36 percent have attempted to alert the driver of another car to stop texting and 82 percent of respondents believe the State of New Jersey should impose a heavy penalty for texting while driving – indicating the need for enforcement. Gerry Wilson, president and CEO of Plymouth Rock Management Company of New Jersey, had this to say:
Distracted driving is one of the most dangerous issues currently affecting our roadways. Years ago, motorists demanded an end to drunk driving. Our research demonstrates that even younger drivers are acknowledging that we must put an end to distracted driving.
Hopefully, young people will come to realize that texting and driving simply don’t mix. A strong educational effort is badly needed to get the attention of youngsters in relation to this growing problem. It will require legislation and strong enforcement of laws aimed at the problem.
Source: Plymouth Rock Assurance
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