US: Older teens often text behind the wheel

Jun 07, 2012 by MIKE STOBBE

(AP) — More than half of U.S. students in their last year before college admit they text or email while driving — the first federal statistics on how common the dangerous habit is in teens.

An anonymous national conducted last year found that 58 percent of said they had texted or emailed while driving during the previous month.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the survey results Thursday.

The numbers aren't really surprising, said Amanda Lenhart, a senior researcher at the Pew Research Center in Washington. She studies how use technology.

A typical teen sends and receives about 100 text messages a day, she said.

"A lot of teens say, 'Well, if the car's not moving and I'm at a stoplight or I'm stuck in traffic, that's OK,'" said Lenhart, who has done focus groups with teens on the topic.

Other teens acknowledge they know it's not safe, but they think it is safer if they hold the phone up so they can see the road and at the same time, she said.

The CDC survey didn't ask whether students' texting was done while the vehicle was moving or stopped.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood on Thursday pressed states to ban texting and hand-held cellphone use by all drivers, calling the problem "a national epidemic."

LaHood said he wants automakers to back voluntary government guidelines to ensure dashboard technologies won't distract drivers.

Explore further: Privacy groups take 2nd hit on license plate data

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

63 percent under 30 admit driving while on phone

Mar 07, 2011

(AP) -- The U.S. Department of Transportation and Consumer Reports magazine have released a poll that illustrates how widespread distracted driving is among young people and a plan to help fight it.

Texting on the rise among US adults: Pew survey

Sep 03, 2010

More American adults are texting but they are not tapping out nearly as many messages per day on their cellphones as teenagers, according to a new survey from the Pew Research Center.

Teen-led study highlights dangers of texting and driving

Apr 29, 2012

Some people have questioned whether a ban on texting while driving will actually lead to more crashes because drivers will conceal their cell phones, making it more dangerous to read and type messages. Research led by high ...

Ford backs bill to ban texting while driving

Sep 11, 2009

(AP) -- Ford said Thursday it backs federal legislation pressuring states to ban texting while driving in an effort to reduce driver distractions that could lead to accidents.

Curb the car dashboard technology, government asks

Feb 16, 2012

(AP) -- Auto dashboards are becoming an arcade of text messages, GPS images, phone calls and web surfing, the government says, and it's asking carmakers to curb those distractions when vehicles are moving.

Fatal crashes fall among teen drivers

Apr 07, 2011

Programs that create some common-sense restrictions when young drivers get behind the wheel have helped cut the rate of deadly crashes by more than half. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) looked at fatal ...

Recommended for you

Privacy groups take 2nd hit on license plate data

Sep 19, 2014

A California judge's ruling against a tech entrepreneur seeking access to records kept secret in government databases detailing the comings and goings of millions of cars in the San Diego area via license plate scans was ...

Scots' inventions are fuel for independence debate

Sep 17, 2014

What has Scotland ever done for us? Plenty, it turns out. The land that gave the world haggis and tartan has produced so much more, from golf and television to Dolly the Sheep and "Grand Theft Auto."

White House backs use of body cameras by police

Sep 16, 2014

Requiring police officers to wear body cameras is one potential solution for bridging deep mistrust between law enforcement and the public, the White House said, weighing in on a national debate sparked by the shooting of ...

Chinese city creates cellphone sidewalk lane

Sep 15, 2014

Taking a cue from an American TV program, the Chinese city of Chongqing has created a smartphone sidewalk lane, offering a path for those too engrossed in messaging and tweeting to watch where they're going.

Coroner: Bitcoin exchange CEO committed suicide

Sep 15, 2014

A Singapore Coroner's Court has found that the American CEO of a virtual currency exchange committed suicide earlier this year in Singapore because of work and personal issues.

User comments : 0