Findings compiled by a national public policy think-tank suggest that one in four teenagers text while behind the wheel.
The Pew Research Center survey found among other things that 75% of all American teens ages 12-17 own a cell phone, and 66% use their phones to send or receive text messages. The survey further determined that one in three (34%) teens ages 16-17 have texted while driving. According to the study, that translates into 26% of all American teens ages 16-17.
Results also showed that nearly half of all teenagers said that they rode as a passenger while the driver was texting. Perhaps most disturbing, the research data revealed that 40% of teenagers generally (and about 50% for older teens) said they have been in a car when the driver used a cell phone in a way that put themselves or others in danger.
The Pew researchers derived these findings from a telephone survey of 800 teenagers along with nine focus groups made up of teens.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving occurs most often in the under-20 cohort.
“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 backseat to staying in touch with friends and family.”
Texting is illegal in Virginia and 17 other states, while various federal initiatives are underway in an attempt to establish uniform regulations across the nation.
Earlier this year, a Virginia Tech University study highlighted the dangers of mobile texting and cell phone use in general.
Fortunately, most Virginia motorists drive responsibly, and it is especially important to exercise caution during the high-traffic holiday season.
If you–or someone you love–have been injured in an automobile accident caused by a distracted driver regardless of the driver’s age, do not hesitate to get in touch with the Personal Injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Richard J. Serpe, P.C., Toll Free 877-544-5323.