There are a number of factors that make a person more likely to use a cellphone while driving. For example, while a new distracted-driving study found that female drivers texted more than male drivers, age was a much bigger contributing factor to cell phone use behind the wheel.

Researchers at the University of Texas studied driver cell phone use at intersections on their medical and academic campuses from 2011 to 2013. Data collectors were stationed at intersections on campus in Houston, El Paso, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, and Brownville. Any driver observed texting, talking with a handheld phone, or talking into a hands-free device was recorded as engaging in cell phone use.

The results revealed some insight into cell phone distractions while driving, such as:

  • Cell phone use occurred in 18.7 percent of all drivers observed.
  • Drivers under 25 years old were the group most likely to use a cell phone for any reason while driving.
  • Drivers traveling alone were more likely to use cell phones than drivers carrying passengers.
  • Incidents of talking on cell phones decreased over the course of the study.
  • Texting rates increases over the course of the study, and held steady in 2013.

Unfortunately, this study did not gather data concerning cell phone use while a vehicle is in motion—the time when texting and talking are most likely to cause a crash. 

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