Teens are 26 times more likely to send text messages while driving than their parents think, according a study by Toyota Motors and the University of Michigan. Fifty-four percent of teens admitted to using a hand-held cellphone while driving. The findings portray the increased risk teen drivers face on the road and the impact technology has on fatal car accidents in the country.
The study analyzed survey results from more than 5,500 drivers between 16 and 18-years-old and their parents. In addition to the results on how often teens text while they drive, the survey found that 69 percent of teens drive with other teenagers on a regular basis and rarely drive with adults in the vehicle.
Car accidents remain the leading cause of death for teenagers. Seven drivers between the ages of 16 and 10 were killed in fatal car accidents every day in 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
This study shows that distracted driving, and particularly the use of cellphones, has not decreased among young drivers. The study was done to boost vehicle safety and to find ways to reduce fatal car accidents in the U.S.
Safety advocates have continued to call for a national ban on cellphone use as a way to help increase public safety and reduce fatal car accidents. Current laws in Colorado ban all drivers from texting while driving. It is also illegal for Colorado drivers under 18 to use a cellphone while driving. Drivers with any type of instruction permit are also prohibited from using cellphones or sending text messages.
Source: Businessweek, “Teens Text More While Driving Than Parents Think: Study,” Alan Ohnsman, Nov. 27, 2012
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