Long Islanders are quickly learning the impact of distracted driving and just how prevalent the habit is.
According to a Newsday.com report, new research shows that one in five teenage drivers on Long Island are texting regularly while they drive — either by participating in “extended text messaging” or checking a text every time they get behind the wheel.
We’ve recently been reporting on the dangers of distracted driving and the rise of this risky habit, especially in New York and Long Island. Authorities in The Empire State are attempting to impose some of the strictest penalties for distracted drivers.
This new study, from researchers at University of Michigan working with a team from Toyota Motor Corp., reveals that 20 percent of Long Island teenagers are texting while driving. The study surveyed 5,500 teen drivers and their parents to glean information for the report, according to Newsday.
In detail, at least 23 percent of teen drivers have had an extended text message conversation while they were driving. This is taking their attention away from the roadway and significantly increasing their chances of causing or being involved in a serious traffic accident. Additionally, about 21 percent of teen drivers in the survey said they checked a text message every time they were behind the wheel. Nearly half of teen drivers use their phones while they’re driving and that could be a cue taken from their parents. Forty-three percent of parent drivers use a cell phone when they’re driving and 44 percent of teens said they used the phone behind the wheel, Newsday reports.
Distracted Driving Causes Twenty Percent of Auto Accidents
Earlier this week, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo revealed that distracted driving — texting or using a phone while driving — was the cause of 20 percent of all auto accidents in the state, Newsday adds.
Our recent reports have noted the increased vigilance for distracted drivers in New York. The state has recently announced stiffer penalties for drivers caught texting behind the wheel. For newly licensed drivers, they could be facing a 60-day license suspension. More experienced drivers are subject to five license points if busted texting while driving.