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Think Most Distracted Drivers are Teens? Think Again

It’s time to stop assuming distracted drivers are teens and Millennials. The real offenders? Their parents.

A new study reveals that Generation X’ers are the biggest users of smartphones while driving. According to recently released data, as presented in "Volvo Reports: Finding Focus on the Road," researchers with the Harris Poll (along with the Swedish automaker) found that folks born between 1965 and 1980 are the most distracted on American roads. Seventy-three percent of drivers using these devices have kids, and a third admit to using their phones with their kids in the car. Additionally, the report revealed a whopping 71 percent of Americans use their phones while behind the wheel. This is particularly surprising, given that Bluetooth connectivity is so much more prevalent than it used to be.

Scary Numbers, Frightening Distractions

In a real sign of the times, more than half of Americans feel that their biggest threat on the road is the number of drivers using handheld devices. It appears drinking and driving has taken a backseat when it comes to the stuff people worry about on the road. Now, a mere 31 percent say driving under the influence is the primary concern, and "many of those surveyed feel there are more driving distractions today than there were five years ago."

It’s not too surprising this study was sponsored by Volvo — the automaker states that its "’Now and Whenever’ philosophy keeps information essential to driving accessible and visible without having to take your eyes off the road."

Use The Tools, Folks

Volvo urges drivers to utilize voice command capabilities and Bluetooth for hands-free communication. The Swedish company is pushing toward its "Volvo’s Vision 2020" — which aims to cut down the number of people who die in road traffic accidents to zero. It’s a pledge created by the company that no one be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo by year 2020.

The takeaway from the study? It’s not just about building safe cars. Stash your phone away. Use how to learn your car’s voice recognition system. If you need navigation help, give your map app a break and spend about $100 for a Garmin on Amazon, or a few bucks less for a second-hand one on eBay.

Stay focused. Distracted drivers pose a serious danger. Keep phones off and away, and keep your eyes on the road.

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