Worst Text Offenders: December 23, 2013

As the least experienced drivers on the road, teens usually get a bad rap for texting while driving. But a new survey from AT&T shows they're not the only ones.

“It’s not just a teenage problem, the distracted driving. It is an every-driver-on-the-road problem,” says Syndi Bultman, injury prevention manager with Lee Memorial Health System.

Fact is teens aren’t the worst text offenders. That distinction belongs to adults.  Chief among them are grownups who are on the job. Syndi Bultman oversees trauma prevention programs, including ones which focus on safe driving.

“The biggest problem for our distracted drivers we’re actually finding is our professional drivers. They’re texting back their driving records to their company while they’re driving the big rigs,” says Bultman.

Commercial drivers have a lot of company, including the young workers.

“People that are 25-35 years of age that are in the corporate world and they want to climb the corporate ladder. So they’re constantly with their phone. They’re not only texting and sending them, they’re reading and sending e-mails,” says Bultman.

It’s something driver Tara Warner admits is tempting.

“In today’s society they have made us so bound to our phones with work and everything that so many people have it right at their hip or in their pocket or in their lap because God forbid you miss a phone call or a text message or an e-mail,” says Warner.

And not to be left behind, the everyday moms and dads. Nearly half say they send or receive texts behind the wheel; at a far greater rate than three years ago. Sending a bad message to their kids.

“I think the parents are the ones doing it right along with them. And we’re the ones who set the example,” says Bultman.

Now that Florida has a texting and driving ban in place, it’s a good time to keep your eyes on the road.