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Survey says: Distracted young motorists remain a driving danger

When it comes to driver criticisms and finger pointing, no other demographic stands out as distinctly as young motorists, who, statistically, lead up virtually every category related to driving deficiency.

Car accidents, reckless driving, speeding, impulsive driving behavior, impatience ... As far as the list goes, it is likely that a young-driver designation is attached next to it at the top of the page.

It is no secret that young drivers command attributes that logically make it seem that they should be the best drivers on the roads in Ohio and nationally. Comparatively, they have quick reflexes. As a group, they see and hear better than do most older drivers. They are adaptable and highly amenable to new learnings.

And they are, unfortunately, easily distracted as compared with more mature motorists, with multiple safety studies attesting to that fact.

A just-released State Farm survey is the latest research to bear that out. A distinct finding in what researchers gleaned in questions asked of approximately 1,000 drivers earlier this year is that, while American drivers generally are becoming a more distracted group on the nation's roadways, young drivers -- those aged 18 to 29 years -- qualify easily as the most distracted.

What emerges as disconcerting in the study is that "webbing" -- Internet surfing on mobile devices such as smartphones -- is on a strong uptick and even supplanting the texting-while-driving behavior of many young motorists that is of such concern to safety regulators.

More than four in 10 motorists under 30 say that they check their email while driving.

Source: MSN, "Distracted driving due to Web surfing is on the rise," Douglas Newcomb, Nov. 26, 2012

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