The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project released a report Monday that found 25% of 16 to 17yr-olds who have cellphones say they text while driving.
The study also found that nearly half of Americans ages 12 to 17 say they’ve been in cars with someone who texted while behind the wheel.
However, perhaps the most disappointing finding was that teens say their parents are also texting behind the wheel. Pew found that “the frequency of teens reporting parent cellphone use behind the wheel in our focus groups was striking, and suggested, in many cases, that texting while driving is a family affair.”
Research by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found even higher texting frequency. Their data indicates that 81% of U.S. residents said they have used their cellphone while driving, and that of the 82% of 16- to 17-year-olds who have cellphones, 52% said they use them while driving.
Teens know the risks – just think it won’t happen to them
“Many teens understand the risks of texting behind the wheel,” said Amanda Lenhart, co-author of the Pew report, “but the desire to stay connected is so strong for teens and their parents that safety sometimes takes a back seat to staying in touch with friends and family.”
For more information about the risks of texting and driving (like the stat saying Drivers who text behind the wheel have a 23 x greater risk of crashing), read my blogs:
- Driving While Texting: Try the Gauge Your Distraction Game
- Driving While Texting Video Raises Needed Debate