Do teens text while driving? I know that question is a lot like asking, “Is the sky blue?” but bear with me for a minute. The short answer is yes, they are texting while driving. There are some interesting statistics that came out of this government study / survey on teen risky behavior.
- About 58% of all high school seniors text or email while driving
- About 43% of all high school juniors admitted they did the same thing
- Distracted driving is blamed for about 16% of all teen deaths resulting from a motor vehicle accident
- The average teen sends & receives about 100 text message a day
- Teens tend to think they are driving more safely when they hold the phone up so they can see the road and the phone at the same time (it’s really not safer!)
As a parent, I’m not surprised at this. I’m not sure the adults I’ve seen recently texting and driving are doing any better.
I’ve texted while driving. It’s pretty scary to look up after hitting “send” and realize I ended up in a different lane than the one I started in at the beginning of the message. Siri makes this easier, but I’m not convinced it makes me safer either. So let’s at least agree to not text while driving. It’s actually nice to disconnect for a few minutes as I travel from one appointment to the other.
And if you’re looking for the good news that came out of this story, here you go!
- Only 8% of teens said they rarely or never wear seatbelts (down from 26% in 1991)
- Fewer teens drive drunk (down from 16% in the 1990s) or rode with someone who’d been drinking 24% (down from 40% in the same time period)
Those are numbers to be proud of and build on!