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Studies Reveal Majority Of Teens Text While Driving

A recent study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control revealed that more than half of high school seniors openly admitted to texting while driving.

In the age of technology older teenagers are rarely seen without a phone in their hand, and this remained true when they were behind the wheel. About 58 percent of high school seniors said they text or email from their phones while driving. Juniors in high school weren’t far behind as more than 43 percent said they also text and drive. A staggering 75 percent said they have friends who text while driving as well, but they still never hesitate to get in the car with these drivers.

Perhaps the most shocking statistic revealed in the study was the fact that about 97 percent of the teenagers surveyed said that they were aware that texting while driving is extremely dangerous.

“They know it’s wrong, and sadly the kids that have suffered are more passionate about it,” said Bob Bunton, a driver’s education teacher at Parkway North High School. “…but it’s too late for them.”

On Wednesday, a Massachusetts teen was sentenced to two and a half years in prison after causing a fatal car accident that killed one driver and left the other seriously injured. Police discovered that the 17-year-old driver had sent over 100 text messages that day; some of them were sent seconds before the deadly impact.

Illinois police also revealed that the 16-year-old driver who died in a crossover crash on I-55 in Collinsville was likely using her cell phone while driving.

A Harvard study revealed that over 2,000 fatal car accidents are caused every year by drivers who are texting while driving. More than 50 percent of Americans believed texting while driving should be punished just as harshly as drinking while driving, but those laws have been hard to enforce and have actually made the problem worse.

“It’s now gone from where texting was not illegal and they had it up to eye level to now trying to hide it and dropping the level, which has dropped the eyeballs and it’s even worse,” said Bunton.

The CDC report did reveal some good news. The number of teenagers who admitted to rarely wearing their seatbelts decreased by more than 20 percent. Only eight percent of teenagers admitted to drinking while driving and only 24 percent said they rode in a car with a drunk driver. Teen deaths from motor vehicle accidents have decreased by 44 percent in the last decade, but texting while driving is threatening to increase these numbers again.

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2 thoughts on “Studies Reveal Majority Of Teens Text While Driving

  1. Erik Wood says:

    I think we live in a culture where business people need to 'hit the ball over the net'. Teens consider it rude not to reply immediately to texts. Home schedules would grind to a halt without immediate communication. We are conditioned to pursue this level of efficiency but we are all supposed cease this behavior once we sit in our respective 5,000 pound pieces of steel and glass. Creating a sustainably safer driver may start with public awareness via legislation but legislation alone cannot win this battle.

    I read that more than 3/4 of teens text daily – many text more 4000 times a month. New college students no longer have email addresses! They use texting and Facebook – even with their professors. Tweens (ages 9 -12) send texts to each other from their bikes. This text and drive issue is in its infancy and I think we need to do more than legislate.

    I decided to do something about distracted driving after my three year old daughter was nearly run down right in front of me by a texting driver. Instead of a shackle that locks down phones and alienates the user, I built a texting asset called OTTER that is a simple and intuitive GPS based, texting auto reply app for smartphones. While driving, OTTER silences those distracting call ringtones and chimes unless a bluetooth is enabled. The texting auto reply allows anyone to schedule a ‘texting blackout period’ in any situation like a meeting or a lecture without feeling disconnected. This software is a social messaging tool for the end user that also empowers this same individual to be a sustainably safer driver.

    Erik Wood, owner.
    OTTER app
    do one thing well… be great.

  2. Problem can be tackled only by public education, self awareness and strict legislation

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