Although a vast majority of teens acknowledge texting while driving is dangerous, nearly a third admit they had partaken in the risky behavior, a new study found.
According to a Consumer Reports study out Tuesday, 16- to 21-year-olds said texting, using smart-phone apps or accessing the Internet while driving is very dangerous, while nearly a third, or 29 percent, admitted that they had in fact texted while behind the wheel in the past month.
"Our survey showed that while far too many young people are driving while distracted, they are less likely to do so when their parents, friends or siblings set a good example," said Rik Paul, auto editor of Consumer Reports.
The study also found that 47 percent of the age group had made a phone call without a headset while behind the wheel. Although, almost two-thirds, or 63 percent, reported that the behavior was dangerous.
"We found that about 50 percent said that they are speaking up for their safety, if they see some of their friends using these things behind the wheel," Consumers Reports' associated editor Liza Barth told WTMA, an AM radio station in Charleston.
Barth continued, "74 percent have tried to stop their behaviors and they've read about the problem; 61 percent have heard or read about the problem of distracted driving; and 40 percent said the laws have helped them reduce or stop some of the behaviors."
Additional findings from the Consumer Reports survey of 16- to 21-year-olds include:
-84 percent saw other young people talking on a handheld phone while driving
-71 percent saw a peer texting while behind the wheel
-48 percent witnessed their mom or dad talking on a handheld phone while driving
-15 percent witnessed their mom or dad texting while behind the wheel
-8 percent operated smart phone apps while driving in the last 30 days
-7 percent used e-mail or social media while behind the wheel in the last 30 days
The study was conducted online by Knowledge Networks from November 23, 2011 to December 13, 2011. A total of 1,049 surveys were completed by adults aged 16 to 21 years with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.03 percentage points at a 95 percent confidence level.
by RTT Staff Writer
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