Study: Men more likely to think they can handle texting & driving

Despite Illinois laws that ban texting while driving, it is still a pervasive problem here in Chicago and across the state. It has already been well established that distracted driving is dangerous. Therefore, newer studies are focusing more on the motivations behind distracted driving and who is most likely to practice such behaviors behind the wheel.

According to the results of one recent study, about 80 percent of college students surveyed said they text while driving. And although women send more daily texts on average than men do, men are more likely to justify their decision to text while driving based on their driving abilities.

The study was relatively small; involving just 120 college students. Participants in the study were asked about their views on texting while driving as well as their habits. Researchers were trying to see if there was a link between impulsiveness and texting behind the wheel.

The results showed that women tend to text more compulsively than men do except when driving. On the other hand, men send fewer texts overall but are less likely to stop texting when behind the wheel. The study’s authors explained that “while male respondents widely agree that texting while driving is dangerous they also believe that they are better at texting while driving than other drivers.”

Of course, anyone with a rudimentary understanding of statistics realizes that half of the population cannot be above average when it comes to driving skills. Moreover, previous studies have shown that despite what many believe about themselves, only 3 percent of people are actually good at multitasking.

If you text or otherwise drive distracted because you think you can handle it, perhaps it is time to reevaluate your assumptions. Distracted driving is a gamble with odds that no one can afford.

Source: L.A. Times, “Males downplay risk of texting and driving, study says,” Monte Morin, Oct. 11, 2013