Textually Active

Adult drivers text more than teens, but should Texas criminalize the practice?

Survey says adult drivers text even more than teens

News_Driving and texting_Feb 10
A new survey found that 49 percent of adult commuters text while driving. Photo by Jason Weaver

According to a new survey, texting and driving is on the rise. Using data from Research Now, AT&T found that 49 percent of adult commuters text while behind the wheel. Three years ago, it was only 40 percent. 

Although teen texting has often been the target of public criticism, this survey found that commuters are the biggest offenders. Forty-three percent of drivers under 20 admitted to texting, compared to 49 percent of adults. 

Thirty-nine states and the District of Columbia have already banned texting while driving. Texas currently prohibits bus drivers, those under 18 and anyone in a school zone from texting but does not have a state-wide ban. Austin adopted its own city ordinance against the practice in 2009.

Rep. Tom Craddick of Midland has once again filed a bill to make texting while driving in Texas a misdemeanor. Last legislative session, Craddick's bill passed the House and Senate before Gov. Rick Perry played his veto card.

It appears the 2013 version of the bill is well on its way to the same fate. The House transportation committee gave the bill a favorable report in March, but Perry has publicly said he is against a texting ban or any legislative action that seeks to "micromanage the behavior of adults."

AT&T says that texting drivers are 23 times more likely to be in an accident, and separate data sets have attributed as many as 1.3 million car crashes to phone use