People usually stereotype drivers who text or talk on the phone while behind the wheel as young people, generally members of the millennial generation. However, data on distracted driving shows that many drivers in older age groups also succumb to distractions like using their phones when they should have their full attention on the road.
Although parents should set good examples for their children when it comes to driving, the National Parent Teacher Association found that 69% of parents, and 75% of fathers, engage in at least two distracting behaviors as they drive. Recent research further supports the fact that many older drivers should make a better effort to abstain from distractions.
Age groups and phone use
According to Forbes, a 2019 survey of drivers found that younger drivers are still most likely to admit to using their phones while driving. Millennials, those born between the years 1981 to 1997, had an admittance rate of 86%. Generation X, those born anywhere from 1965 to 1980, also produced a high result of 72%. But while fewer Baby Boomers admitted to texting or talking on their phones while driving, 49%, nearly half of the category, still admitted to phone usage.
Combating driving distractions
As the Forbes article points out, the temptation to answer a phone while driving can overwhelm just about anyone, regardless of age. The survey even found baby boomers were worse than other age groups when it came to asking someone else in the vehicle to answer a phone call or to send a text message. Fourteen percent of them admitted to asking a passenger to handle a call, compared to 26% of millennials.
The study also showed that many respondents were willing to admit to their risky driving behavior. They might recognize that they should change their driving habits. Given that looking away from the road for even 1.6 seconds could result in a serious or deadly vehicle crash, it is imperative that all drivers, regardless of age, do more to drive responsibly and set a good example for others.