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Young Employees Are Texting While Driving

If you manage any employees in the 16 to 24 age range, you might like to know about a new Ad Council/C+R Research survey that tells us a whopping 82% of young drivers are texting while driving.

The under-30 driver who blew right through the stop light or almost merged into you on the freeway? Yeah, that guy (or gal). He (or she) was probably too busy reading texts to C U. LOL. Not so funny are the other findings in the survey, which reveal that three-fourths of young drivers admit to texting while driving. Nearly half (49%) are texting while driving on a regular basis, while exactly half say they've ridden with a friend within the last four weeks who was texting while driving. OMG.

The survey included 1,004 U.S. teens and young adults in the 16-to-24 age range. The problem is so bad with the younger generation that we may soon be anointing designated drivers for texters:

"For over twenty-five years we have been working with NHTSA to successfully address drunk driving prevention. The term 'designated driver' is now a part of the American vocabulary, but even more importantly sixty-seven percent of all adults have tried to stop someone from drinking and driving," said Peggy Conlon, president and CEO of the Ad Council. "Research has shown that using a cell phone delays a driver's reactions as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08 percent. Through our Texting and Driving Prevention campaign we are working towards eradicating the mindset among young adults that texting and driving is a safe activity."

If you're a manager or a small business owner, you don't need me to tell you the liability risks involved if a texting employee is out and about on something work-related and hits or kills someone. Surveys such as this one offer a great opportunity to bring up the topic in a meeting or a memo that clearly prohibits texting while driving on work time. I'd say you could text a memo to drive the point home, but no. That's probably not a great idea with these kids. Not all young people are texting while driving, of course, but if 82% of them admit to it then chances are higher they might be texting while driving on the job.

The Ad Council has put together a series of anti-texting ads, and you can get a lot more information at


  1. Not a good idea to be texting when you are operating a 2,000 lb machine. Let's hope the numerous campaigns out there are getting the message through about the dangers of distracted driving.


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