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New Survey Shows Most Teens Still Text While Driving, Despite Warnings

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More teens think drunk driving is riskier than texting while driving, according to a new survey by State Farm. The survey, conducted in February by Harris Interactive and released to the public on Tuesday, April 10 — during national Distracted Driving [prevention] Month — shows that 57% of teens with driver’s licenses admit to texting while driving.

According to a State Farm press release:

The State Farm survey was conducted by telephone in the United States among 652 14-17 year olds, including 280 who have a driver’s license or permit. These results come from a follow-up to a 2010 State Farm survey, and the numbers are virtually unchanged. […]

In the survey, fewer teens view texting while driving as leading to fatal consequences as compared to drinking while driving. Of 14- to 17-year-olds who intend to have or already have a driver’s license, the survey found that 35 percent strongly agree that if they regularly text and drive they will be killed someday. In contrast, the majority of teens, 57 percent, strongly agree that regularly drinking while driving will be fatal.

Although 63% of teens interviewed in the survey strongly agree they will get into an accident if they regularly text and drive, 20% more of them (83%) believe they will get into an accident if they regularly drink and drive.

The survey also shows that those teens who do not text while driving have frequent talks with their parents about the dangers of texting while driving. The research showed a strong decline in talks between parents and teens about driving after teens receive their driver’s licenses. Although the risk of a teen having a crash is highest during the first year after getting his or her driver’s license, the study shows that teens who have only a learner’s permit are more than twice as likely as those who already have a license to report that they talk very often with their parents about driving.

“The conversation should not end when teens get their license,” said Chris Mullen, Director of Technology Research at State Farm. “Through this survey and other teen driver research, we know that ongoing parental involvement in the learning process is key to keeping teen drivers safe behind the wheel.”

Larry Copeland writes in the Chicago Sun-Times that at least one TV show popular with teens – “Glee,” airing on Fox on Tuesday nights — has written distracted driving into its plotline, spotlighting the issues raised by national Distracted Driving Month:

The State Farm survey comes as ‘Glee’ is expected to resolve a cliffhanger from last season. Drama queen Quinn Fabray, played by Dianna Agron, was rushing to her ex-boyfriend’s wedding and texting while driving when her vehicle was sideswiped by a truck. The screen went black, leaving viewers wondering about her fate.

Image by Distraction.gov, used under Fair Use: Reporting.

 

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