What Teens Say about Texting While Driving

5841313_mTexting while driving (TWD) is now the leading cause of death for teen drivers, surpassing drunk driving and other forms of intoxication. A recent survey, conducted by Bridgestone Americas Teen Drive Smart, found that teens and young adults understand that TWD is dangerous, to the point that 70% of those surveyed have asked someone they care about not to do it, but more than half of them admit to doing it themselves.

Survey Highlights

The survey included 200 drivers age 16 through 21. Here are some of the results:

  • 70% said they were likely to text while stopped at a red light
  • 70% said they had asked a friend or parent to stop texting while driving
  • 60% said they had texted while driving in the car alone
  • 37% said they had texted while driving with friends in the car
  • 10% said they had texted while driving with a parent in the car

As far as the content of those texts go:

  • 18% were to let someone know they were running late
  • 18% were to coordinate plans with someone

What Does it Mean?

Possibly the most disturbing result is that 10% of those surveyed had texted while driving with a parent in the car. How do we impress the danger on them if parents are condoning, or worse, encouraging this behavior?

It makes sense that such a high percentage chose to text while alone in the vehicle, but young drivers, and all drivers for that matter, need to know that the danger of TWD applies to everyone on the road, not just the passengers in their vehicle.

The fact that 70% of those surveyed had asked someone they care about to stop TWD is a clear sign that they recognize the danger, and that they, like older drivers, seem to feel like they can handle it.

What is also clear is that young drivers will continue to feel justified in texting as long as parents and other older drivers fail to lead by example.

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