Many senior citizens use cellphones and drive, survey shows

A new survey shows that senior citizens are using their cellphones more and more while they drive.

Younger drivers in Virginia are often targeted for using their cellphones while operating a vehicle since the problem is so widespread among younger generations. For example, according to the Pew Research Center, approximately 26 percent of American teens between the ages of 16 and 17 have texted while driving. Although teenage drivers often use their cellphones while driving, a new survey shows that senior citizens also engage in cellphone use while operating a vehicle.

This survey, which was conducted at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, involved 397 adults all over the age of 65. The survey discovered that 75 percent of seniors felt confident using a cellphone while driving, and of the drivers with cellphones, 60 percent talked on the phone and drove simultaneously.

The dangers of cellphone use among senior drivers

Cellphone use and driving is particularly dangerous for senior citizens because many older drivers suffer from conditions that damper their ability to operate a vehicle safely. For example, some older drivers may experience vision deterioration, cognitive impairment and frailty. On top of this, some older drivers take medications that can impair their ability to drive safely. Additionally, some older drivers may have reduced mental processing speed and reduced attention.

Not only do many older drivers often have conditions that impact their ability to drive safely, but 27 percent of the participants reported they had driven a vehicle with a child under the age of 11 in it during the previous month. When older adults use a cellphone as they drive, they endanger those with them and model risky behavior to younger generations.

The scope of the problem

Regardless of age or driving ability, distraction is dangerous to all drivers, passengers and pedestrians. According to the CDC, distracted driving results in the deaths of eight drivers every day, and distracted driving accidents cause approximately 1,161 injuries on a daily basis in the U.S. Distracted driving-related collisions are also on the rise. For instance, in 2013, 424,000 people were injured in a distracted driving accident, which is almost a 10 percent increase when compared with 2011.

Drivers in Virginia who are injured in a distracted driving crash may experience severe physical, emotional and financial harm. In this situation, injured drivers should reach out to the experienced attorneys at The Law Offices of Daniel L. Crandall & Associates for assistance asserting their rights to fair and proper compensation.