Teens Still Text While Driving. Do You? [POLL]
April is Distracted Driving Month, but it seems teenage drivers haven’t gotten the message that their actions behind the wheel can be dangerous or deadly.
A survey conducted for State Farm found that just 43% of 16 and 17 year old drivers say they have not texted while driving, the same percentage as in 2010’s survey. That would mean most drivers in that age group have texted, or are texting, behind the wheel.
Still, the majority of teens agree that someone who regularly texts and drives will someday be killed while driving (76%) or get into an accident (93%).
In many cases, according to Acting Director of the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety Gary Poedubicky, teen drivers think they are invincible.
“They think they can text or talk on the phone while driving, and do so safely, but not realizing that they are potentially creating a dangerous situation on the roadway,” Poedubicky said.
He said while instant communication and multi-tasking are a part of everyone’s daily lives, teen drivers can not let themselves get distracted.
Parents play a key role in preventing tragedy, according to Poedubicky.
He added, “Just having a conversation with teenagers about the dangers of driving while texting can also send a strong message.”
He advised parents to set a good example by not using their cell phone behind the wheel.
In the State Farm study, 67% of teenagers who text while driving said they often speak with their parents about the dangers. Among the teens who never text while driving, 82% have discussed the issue with their parents.
Poedubicky’s central message for teens was, “Take control of your cell phone; don’t let it control you.”