by: Charles Elmore, Palm Beach Post
A national survey shows 46 percent of drivers in one age group think texting behind the wheel is just fine.
The most accepting group? People ages 25 to 34, research from insurancequotes.com finds.
The group represents a big slice of millennials, many of whom grew up with mobile devices in hand. The next highest approval rate for sending texts on the go comes from ages 35 to 44, with 22.7 percent.
The survey of 2,000 Americans found 13.7 percent of drivers 18 to 24 were OK with texting while driving, while other age groups approved at 10.1 percent or less.
A study released in April that relied on devices in cars found 92 percent of U.S. drivers with cell phones have used them for texting or calling while in a moving vehicle in the past 30 days. Florida received the nation’s worst score for such use after Louisiana.
“I’m not surprised by the results of the study,” state Rep. Emily Slosberg, D-Boca Raton said. “We’re one of four states that don’t make texting while driving a primary offense.”
It’s a secondary offense in Florida, meaning police can’t cite it unless a driver is pulled over for something else. Bills to strengthen penalties did not pass in the legislative session that ended May 8.
Texting was involved in 6 percent of accidents and cell phone use including talking was a factor in 26 percent of crashes, the National Safety Council found in 2015. Overall phone use in accidents has been rising for several years, researchers said.
Is it acceptable to send text messages while driving?
18-24 — 13.7%
25-34 — 46.3%
35-44 — 22.7 %
45-54 — 10.1%
55-64 — 5.6%
65-74 — 1.4%
75+ — 0.1%