NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwired) -- 04/02/13 -- Michael Cerussi, a driver's education instructor, is issuing comment on new research that shows that adults are just as guilty as teens are when it comes to texting and driving. In fact, in a survey conducted by AT&T, 49 percent of the adults surveyed said they text and drive even though they know it is a dangerous habit. Ninety-eight percent of adult drivers admitted that they know that distracted driving is not safe, but despite this knowledge, the trend still continues to rise. Six in ten drivers state that they never would have texted behind the wheel three years ago.
A variety of factors contribute to this growing rate of risky behavior, with many of those surveyed claiming that texting and driving just feels like it is second nature now. Others explain that sending a text while out on the road increases feelings of productivity, or helps to make them feel connected.
Michael Cerussi offers thoughts on these statements noting, "Unfortunately, though texting and driving may make a person feel more productive as they complete a road trip, it is also an extremely risky behavior that puts that person and all other individuals on the road at risk. Even looking down at the phone for one second can lead to a catastrophic accident. No matter how important the text message, it can always wait. If it can't, a driver should safely pull over, send out their message, and then continue on their way."
Though the findings note that adults are more likely to engage in this risky behavior, 43 percent of teenage drivers also verify that they send messages as they drive. Many explain that they do so because the people they text with expect a reply within five minutes or less, therefore putting pressure on the recipient to respond no matter where they are. In fact, 48 percent of teenagers said that they expect an immediate response to a text message.
Rules at home play a major part in whether a teen opts to text and drive. Households without rules against texting and driving are among some of the biggest predictors that an adolescent will choose to engage in this risky behavior. Other factors include whether the young person has a job, owns a smartphone, or usually sends more than 100 messages per day.
In order to encourage individuals to put down the phone as they navigate the roadways, AT&T notes that the threat of a suspended license is the most effective deterrent, with the possibility of a $500 ticket also proving useful.
Michael Cerussi states, "While individuals should avoid texting and driving simply because of the inherent risks involved, it seems as though penalties are necessary to make drivers question their behavior behind the wheel." Michael Cerussi notes that once a motorist breaks the habit of texting and driving, he or she will probably feel more comfortable putting the phone down until the trip is complete.
Michael Cerussi founded Cerussi Driving School in 1998. He and 20 other professional instructors offer students high quality driver education. Since the creation of the program, Cerussi and his team have taught young drivers about defensive driving and safe driving techniques. They also focus on the hazards of driving under the influence.
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