A survey by Fairleigh Dickinson University and the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety found that more drivers are texting than ever in New Jersey.
56 percent of drivers under age 30 admit that they have sent a text while behind the wheel, and though younger drivers are most likely to text than any other age group, this year’s survey shows more drivers across all age groups were texting.
- 37 percent of drivers 30 to 44 years of age say they have sent a text while driving, an increase of 9 percent over 2009
- 17 percent of drivers 45 to 60 years of age say they have texted while driving, up from 12 percent in 2009
“These figures reflect how much texting has become part of our lives, so much so that we’re even doing it in the driver’s seat,” said Dan Cassino, a professor of political science at Fairleigh Dickinson University.
In addition to texting while driving, younger drivers frequently speed: 35 percent of drivers under the age of 30 say that they speed on highways “most of the time,” compared to 26 percent of all drivers. 31 percent of those young drivers admit they regularly go over 70 miles per hour on the highway.
What Speed Limit?
Surprisingly, drivers under the age of 30 didn’t think they were breaking the law when driving over the speed limit, as 54 percent think the speed limit is somewhere between 70 and 74 mph, and nearly a third, 31 percent, say that it is over 75 mph.
“While younger drivers are more likely to be texting and speeding than any of the other age groups, we just have to hope that they’re not doing it at the same time,” said Cassino. “Any driver going 75 mph on the interstate while texting is a scary thing.”
The Dangers of Texting and Speeding
According to study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, research shows that drivers who send and receive text messages take their eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds out of every 6 seconds while texting. At 75 mph, this translates into travelling 506 feet, over one and a half football fields, with your eyes off the road.