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4 of 5 Colleges Students Text While Driving: Study

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4 of 5 Colleges Students Text While Driving: Study

Young men may overestimate their ability to multitask behind the wheel, researchers say

FRIDAY, Oct. 18, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Despite efforts to stop drivers from texting behind the wheel, new research revealed that four of five college students have used their cell phones to send or receive text messages while driving.

And texting while driving is more common among men, according to researchers at King's College, in Wilkes-Barre, Penn., who said men often believe they are better drivers and therefore less likely to hurt themselves or others when texting behind the wheel.

The study was published recently in the International Journal of Sustainable Strategic Management.

Previous research has shown that only 2.5 percent of people are actually able to perform more than one task at a time, according to a journal news release. Those who multitask well are simply better at shifting from one activity to the next, study authors Garold Lantz and Sandra Loeb, of the McGowan School of Business, said in a journal news release.

Moreover, previous studies have shown that texting behind the wheel is not unlike drunk driving, and can actually slow drivers' reaction time even more than alcohol.

"There seems to be a mentality that use of electronic devices is dangerous for everyone but 'me'," the researchers wrote. They said their findings could help government officials better understand attitudes about texting while driving and improve public-awareness efforts to curb this behavior.

"If further research conclusively demonstrates that texting while driving is as dangerous as driving drunk, this study suggests that a promotional campaign should be undertaken to assure that this point is clearly understood," the researchers said.

Texting while driving is banned in several countries such as the United Kingdom, according to the news release.

More information

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has more about texting and other forms of distracted driving (http://www.distraction.gov/ ).

SOURCE: International Journal of Sustainable Strategic Management, news release, Oct. 11, 2013