Texting while driving

Some 77 percent of kids say their parents aren't setting a good example

A pair of recent surveys commissioned by AT&T found that 49 percent of commuters reported having texted while driving, compared to 43 percent of teenagers in a companion study.

Some 97 percent of the 1,200 teens surveyed in April 2012 said they knew texting while driving was dangerous, with 70 percent recognizing that texting while at a stoplight also wasn't safe. 

Perhaps more sobering for those of us with children is that 89 percent of the teens surveyed said they believed their parents were bad role models for not texting while driving, and 77 percent of them believed their parents text "all the time" in the car.

It's simple. Do not text and drive. Better yet, keep the phone in your pocket. Period.

Source: AT&T; More: Commuter survey (pdf), teenager survey (pdf)


Reader comments

Commuters text while driving more than teens, AT&T-sponsored survey finds


I put my phone in the centre console so I won't touch it and if I get a call, it goes to my Bluetooth and I try to keep my conversation short so I can focus on driving. Other than that, I never touch my device. Texting while driving is really no different than driving impaired (drug/alcohol).

We don't all have bluetooth enabled cars.......and I have to read android central on the way to work every morning, there's really no avoiding it.

oh no, say it ain't so! your car doesn't have bluetooth? How could you live in this age without it?!? Oh wait, neither does mine, but my bluetooth headset does just fine for phone calls. Oh and I'd mention that you might want to read your insurance contract, most of them have stipulations that say if you're in an accident and are distracted (IE radio or electronic device) they can deny your claim. God forbid arriving a little early to work and read there...

I actually saw a soccer mom driving down the highway in her SUV reading a Book on her wheel while driving 65 mph.

On vacation I was driving through kansas behind this guy for miles when he all the sudden swerved all over the highway and I thought he was going to cross the grass median into oncoming traffic but he regained control and all the sudden his Girl's head popped up from his lap.

People take stupid risks everyday, this is why we need self driving cars. Seriously how important is a text message or phone call while driving.

I hope you're being sarcastic, but just in case you aren't its good to know that Android Central is so important to you that you're willing to risk your life and health as well as that of others so you can read it while driving.

Cars with bluetooth, and even some basic text to speech and speech to text solve a lot of the problems. I don't feel a need to pull my phone out while driving, because my car will read text messages to me when they come in, and for the most part, I don't feel a need to text back for really minor things, and major things deserve a phone call anyway.

Alternatively you may use a walkie-talkie app, like GroupVox for example to talk with your Facebook friends while driving. No need to type the messages, just tap the button and send an instant voice message.
I wish all the teens could use such apps.

Texting while driving and using your phone without a hands free device IS illegal in a few states. though I feel that it shouldn't be for 2 reasons. 1 I don't believe that the government should regulate our lives and 2) it's just putting a stop to survival of the fittest.

those are just my opinions though.

Your 2nd point is invalid. Texting while driving doesn't only affect those who do it, it also affects proper drivers who can get hit by others who are not paying attention. Pretty much the same thing as drunk driving.

I agree the government should not regulate our lives. But when it comes to driving basically a killing machine on 4 wheels, there are rules the government has set. Like speed limit, no drinking & driving and no texting either. Those are simple rules and if you don't like them, stay the hell out of a car.
I hope for your sake, reason nr 2 was a joke.

Texting at a stop light is dangerous? I fail to see that part. How is that different from pulling over and texting someone? My phone is docked, so I can listen to music. I may read a text at a light, but I will usually only respond when I am at my destination.

No kidding, last I checked the only dangerous part about texting while at a stoplight would be the person behind you getting pissed and going into road rage mode because you didn't go when the light turned green.

My thoughts exactly.

Commuters are more likely to spend a lot of time stuck at redlights or in stopped traffic. You've got anywhere from a minute to 5 minutes waiting. There is nothing dangerous about looking at your phone in those instances.

If this survey counts texting while waiting for stop lights as texting while driving then they have essentially admitted the whole study is likely bogus and highly suspect.

I totally agree and came to post exactly that. How is texting while waiting at a stoplight "dangerous"?

I always tell my kids that just because your device makes a sound, it does not require immediate attention.

Voicemails can be left, and texts do not self-destruct in 30 seconds.

AC has really become the People's Republic of Android. "Don't be an administrator on your own phone, it's dangerous!" "Carrier IQ works just fine, pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!" "Don't use alternative app stores, they're dangerous!" "Keep your phone in your pocket while driving, it's dangerous!"

One wonders how on earth you guys were able to survive before manufacturers and governments started putting these helpful handcuffs on us. Thankfully, there are more reasonable Android news sites around these days.

It's proven that texting while driving is dangerous. Are your messages so important that it's worth risking your life and others for them?

Or, are you just that much of an anti-establishment militant that you feel the need to reject any type of safety measure?

That is a funny statement. Doing anything while driving is dangerous.

There hasn't been a study that shows that texting is responsible for a significant number of accidents. In fact, there are several studies that show that radios are responsible for seven times more accidents than cell phones and eating while driving is responsible for three times more accidents. Wonder why we don't have laws against using radios or eating while driving?

Sorry, but I'm glad there are laws in place that prevent you from getting distracted by a text and killing me on the road. The other items you have listed have nothing to do with the potentially deadly habit of texting. You should mature a little more.

Laws don't "prevent" anything. Self-control does. Or, if you prefer, the force behind the law (i.e., the po-lice).

Having said that, I agree that texting while driving is wrong.

I agree!!! With apps like Auto SMS (FREE from the Play store, https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tmnlab.autoresponder&f...) it takes 5 minutes to set up an auto response text message. And then you can add a widget that makes it easy to turn on before driving. Or if you are too lazy to download and set up a free app, you could ignore the phone and pay attention to the road.

Or if you have Tasker, you can set up a profile and widget to do the same. I have mine setup to send a response message everytime someone texts me while my bluetooth headset is on(they are $20 at WalMart folks, it won't break the bank).

I've been hit 3 times in the past two years by texters. If it were up to me, texting while driving would have a minimum one year driving suspension. Lifetime suspension for the second offense.

And for all bright individuals that text at stop lights and are clueless that the light turned green 10 seconds ago, I use my horn the whole time through the light to wake them up. That is always fun. :)

Title doesn't make sense. Isn't anyone in a vehicle a commuter? Teen drivers are commuters as well. Don't you mean adult commuters text more while driving than teens?

Sad part is I believe that. I know I have a bad habit if I am going to send a text at doing it at a stop light on my way to work. Normally texting a co worker that I am running late for my morning meeting.

There are a lot of useful apps to read texts out loud and bluetooth to help you go hands free. But if someone old or young kills me because they were texting and driving and i cant go home to see my wife and son. I think God will make an exception and throw me back considering you unfinished business.

I'm guilty of the stop light text. There are a few in my commute that I know are very long lights and I am behind about 20 vehicles. I don't do it while I am moving though.

I'm in total agreement. If my car is at a complete stop, I will text, adjust the radio, whatever I want. As long as it's nothing that causes my foot to leave the brake, it's fine.

100% true. I ride with my boss to and from job sites every day, and he's almost been in more accidents than I can count. I've noticed that most of the teenagers we drive by are paying attention to the road, pretty well. But not the adults on the highway during rush hour!! in 5 cars you're sure to see someone with their face buried in their tablet. I've even seen people holding their notebook on their lap with the screen leaning up against the wheel!!!

Anyone, tell me one valid reason to text, reading or writing, while driving? If you receive an "important" text from someone, and you don't respond, that sender would very likely follow with a call. I find it ludicrous that a sensible person would decide to text, rather than call, while driving. Would you also text while operating dangerous equipment, climbing a ladder, walking across a busy intersection, or any action that requires your undivided attention? If so, chances are your phone is "smarter" than you! Now there is an idea for a new reality show!