AT&T texting-while-driving simulator, offered by The Peers Foundation
By now, most teens know that texting and handheld cellphone use while driving is dangerous. Yet they continue to do so; a Consumer Reports survey reported just last week that eight in 10 young drivers admit to texting and driving.
Laws are getting tougher on this type of distracted-driving behavior. Thirty-eight states, Washington, D.C. and Guam now have laws banning all texting by drivers, and 31 states and D.C. ban cell phone use by novice drivers. But how do we get teens to keep both hands on the wheel?
AT&T, a major wireless carrier, commissioned a new study of teen drivers as part of its “It Can Wait” campaign. The results are not surprising, but nonetheless deeply disturbing. There’s a profound disconnect between what teens consider as “dangerous” or “very dangerous” behavior and what they actually do.
The survey found that 97 percent of teens know texting while behind the wheel is dangerous, 43 percent admit to sending a text while driving, and 75 percent say the practice is common among their friends.
Stopping at a red light and texting? Seventy percent thought that was dangerous, but, again, 60 percent said they do it anyway during a red light stop.
Eighty-nine percent of teens (almost nine in 10) expect a reply to a text or email message within five minutes.
Nearly three-quarters (71 percent) of teens surveyed own a smartphone and 54 percent report owning a traditional cell phone.
When asked how many messages they send and receive on an average day, nearly half (46 percent) said they send and receive between 21 and 100 text messages a day. An additional 17 percent said they send over 100 text messages daily.
Read more at On Tour: AT&T Driving Simulator Helps Teens See Texting Danger