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Teens text while driving more than their parents know

Dec 5, 2012 - Car Accidents by

Even before texting came along, learning to drive safety wasn’t easy for teens. It’s a big responsibility, being charge of a vehicle that can kill or seriously injure others in a collision.

But the temptation for teens to text behind the wheel has only made things harder. Despite many terrible distracted driving accidents in North Carolina and the country, and numerous state prohibitions, both teens and adults continue to text while driving.

Recent survey data shows that teens are doing this even more than was previously thought. The study was done funded by Toyota and done at the University of Michigan. It found that teens are 26 times more likely to text while driving than their parents thought they were.

The survey included more than 5,500 teenage drivers who were ages 16 to 18, as well as their parents.

The finding about the frequency of teen texting was not the only one of concern in the survey results, either. The data also showed that over two-thirds of teens (69 percent) drive on a regular basis with other teenagers but no adults in the car.

Nationally, the numbers are grim on the number of fatal crashes involving teen drivers. Car crashes are the number one cause of death for U.S. teens. In 2010, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, seven drivers ages 16 to 19 lost their lives every day in motor vehicle accidents.

Clearly society needs to do more to help teens drive more safely. And parents definitely have a role in this. Enforcement of laws against texting while driving is of course important. But so is parental enforcement of guidelines for driving safety.

Source: “Teens Text More While Driving Than Parents Think: Study,” Bloomberg, Alan Ohnsman, 11-27-12

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