The Center for Disease Control have released results of a survey conducted last year, questioning teens on their risky habits, and one of the questions provided some shocking answers.
A survey conducted last year in the United States has found that over half of the high school seniors questioned in the survey have admitted to sending a text or checking their e-mail while behind the wheel. Around 43% of high school juniors admitted to the same.
Amanda Lenhart, a researcher at the Pew Research Center in Washington, who studies how teens use technology says that the numbers aren’t all that surprising. Lenhart also says that “A typical teen sends and receives about 100 text messages a day, and it’s the most common way many kids communicate with their peers. Even during short car rides it’s not uncommon for messages to be coming in and for teens to respond.” Lenhart also says that other teens think it is safer if they hold up the phone so that they are able to see both the cell phone and the road at the same time, that it is safer.
Vicki Rimasse, a New Jersey woman says that she is not surprised at all by the findings of the survey. Rimasse, who’s 18 year-old son, Dylan Young had caused a minor fender bender earlier this year while he was texting in traffic one winter afternoon. Luckily, no one was hurt. Rimasse made her son take a safe-driving course after the incident. When questioned about his mishap, Young says “I felt like an idiot”, and that the incident had taught him “to be a lot more cautious”. Mr. Young says that he still sometimes texts behind the wheel.
Thirty-nine states ban texting while driving for every age group, and 5 more states outlaw it for novice teen drivers. In the last two weeks alone, 2 teenagers in Massachusetts and Missouri-have been sentenced to jail time, one of them being sentenced to a year, for deadly motor vehicle accidents involving texting.
It wasn’t all bad news in the survey though. More teenagers are wearing seat-belts, and fewer teens said that they drove while under the influence of alcohol.
The National Youth Risk Behavior Survey is conducted every two years, but this was the first time that the topic of texting while driving was included in it.