Distracted driving can cause serious injury to motorists, cyclists and pedestrians alike. Even if you look at your phone for just a second, that's all it takes for a driver to veer the opposite direction or miss the moment they need to break.
When you think about a distracted driver behind the wheel, your first thought may be of a teenage girl texting or Snapchatting her friends irresponsibly. And while that likely does happen, this may not fit the profile of most distracted drivers.
A study published in Frontiers in Psychology by Ole Johansson looked at the driving habits and personalities of hundreds of Norwegian high schoolers and adults. The study showed that some drivers are more prone to distracted driving. This included frequent drivers, those with neurotic and extroverted personalities, and young men.
These young men were among the most likely to report distraction due to phones but also to be people talking in the car or flipping through the radio dial, which can similarly distract drivers.
The study is the first of its kind to look at the connections between distracted driving intentions and behavior. While most Texans are not of Norwegian descent, it shows a pattern of personalities and gender that may be universal.
So if you are a young man, a regular commuter or someone who identifies and neurotic or extroverted, put the phone down. And even if you aren't, do it anyway. Regardless of who is behind the wheel, distracted driving is a problem that can cause serious injury to the driver and others. All drivers should be cognizant of their actions and keep their eyes on the road.