Don't Text and Drive Blog

New Study Shows More Than 50% of Teens Regularly Text and Drive

Posted by Robert Edgin on Thu, Nov 10, 2011 @ 05:06 PM

Liberty Mutual recently announced the results of it's annual teen driving study which they've been doing evTeen Texting While Drivingery year since 2000. This year's results show that teens have really become aware of the dangers of texting and driving. Almost 60% of teens say that texting and driving is extremely dangerous, compared to just 38% a few years ago.

Unfortunately, even though teens KNOW the dangersof texting and driving, the study's results show some surprising data about their texting and driving BEHAVIORS. Here's the results of the study. (Make sure you check out this week's TFD TV from the coffee shop after reading this to see all the people who will be texting on their drive home!)

Photos, Video, Social Media Also Popular Uses of Cell Phones While Behind the Wheel

BOSTON, Oct. 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Teen drivers are becoming increasingly aware of the potential dangers of texting while driving, yet it's not curbing the behavior.  According to a 2011 teen driving study by Liberty Mutual Insurance and SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions), more than half (53 percent) of the 2,294 high school students surveyed say they text while they drive at least sometimes, and 28 percent admit doing so often or very often.

(Logo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110607/NE15669LOGO )

Ironically, the study, which Liberty Mutual and SADD have regularly conducted since 2000, shows a steady increase in belief by teens that texting while driving is a significant distraction.  In 2008, only 38 percent of teens reported texting while driving was very/extremely distracting.  The following year, 48 percent of teens said that texting was the most distracting behavior while driving; a sentiment that then soared to 59 percent in 2011.

The Liberty Mutual/SADD Teen Driving Study reports these key findings:

  • For some young drivers, text messaging occurs at alarmingly high levels.  More than 40 percent of teens who text while driving send more than 10 messages from behind the wheel each day.  Nearly one in ten teens text 50 or more messages daily while driving.  
  • Who are they texting?  Teens are increasingly likely to text mom and dad:  63 percent in the 2011 study vs. 55 percent in 2009.  Friends remain the most popular recipients of text messages, yet at a decreasing rate:  70 percent in 2011 vs. 80 percent in 2009.
  • What are they texting?  59 percent of teens say they are texting their parents about where they are.
While it's important for parents to know where their children are and what they are doing, they need to take a firm stance against texting while driving and other distracted driving behaviors," said Stephen Wallace, Senior Advisor for Policy, Research, and Education at SADD.  "This research shows that despite awareness campaigns and laws against texting while driving, it's a common behavior among teens that parents inadvertently may be aiding."

Texting is only one of several driving distractions available to teens in today's plugged-in world.  The Liberty Mutual/SADD study revealed that teens at least sometimes use these technologies while driving:

  • 73 percent change songs on their iPod or MP3 player
  • 67 percent talk on a cell phone
  • 13 percent use their cell phone to access the Internet
  • 13 percent update their Facebook status or MySpace account from their cell phones
  • 10 percent take pictures or videos with their cell phones
  • 4 percent use an iPad or tablet PC
"Technology surrounds us, adding more responsibility upon parents to talk to their teen drivers about when and where to use it," said Dave Melton, a driving safety expert with Liberty Mutual and managing director of Global Safety.  "The reality is, the 'don't talk on the phone while driving' conversation of a few years ago, must today expand to 'don't use your cell phone, MP3 player or any computer device for any reason while driving.'  If you're not talking about it, chances are they will do it."

Liberty Mutual and SADD believe that effective parent-teen communication is critical in helping teens recognize and choose safe driving behaviors.  Yet, for many teens having a conversation with their parents about driving safety would be a first, as nearly 13 percent of teens say their parents have never talked to them about driving safety.

Tools like the Liberty Mutual/SADD Parent-Teen Driving Contract or SADD's Contract for Life can be good facilitators of this conversation, with potentially positive results:  65 percent of teen drivers say having a contract in place that sets expectations, consequences and rewards would help them earn more trust from their parents.  Additionally, 27 percent of teens admit a safe driving contract would change their driving habits and 45 percent say it would make it easier to withstand peer pressure from friends or passengers.

The Liberty Mutual/SADD Parent-Teen Driving Contract is just one of the many resources to help teens become safe, responsible drivers found at www.LibertyMutual.com/TeenDriving.  The website also provides state-by-state teen driving laws, practice permit tests, and video demonstrations of safe driving techniques.  Other important safety information can be found at www.sadd.org.

About the Study
Liberty Mutual and SADD commissioned ORC International, to conduct a qualitative and quantitative study to measure teen driving attitudes and behaviors.  The study was initiated with a series of four focus groups held in Harrisburg, Pa., and San Francisco, Calif., in October 2010, followed by a survey of 2,294 teens in eleventh and twelfth grades from 28 recruited high schools across the country in January 2011.  Overall findings for the study can be interpreted with a 95 percent confidence interval with an error margin of +/- 2.02 percent. 

Tags: texting and driving statistics, texting thumb bands, teens texting and driving, teen texting and driving accident

Why Are Teens More Likely To Have A Texting And Driving Accident?

Posted by Robert Edgin on Tue, Nov 01, 2011 @ 12:50 AM

If you have, or have been around, a teenager in the last few years, I'm sure you are aware of their obsession with texting. Texting is the new talking, and teens (who naturally love talking) love to do it. They text at home, at school, at work, at play and everywhere else in between...including in their car! Teens send and receive an average of 300 texts per day and unfortunately many of them are being sent while they are driving.

Here are some troubling statistics when it comes to teens and driving:

  • Automobile accidents are the number one killer of teens.
  • 80% of all accidents are caused by distracted driving.
  • Texting is the number one form of distraction.
  • Teens have the highest rate of texting and driving among all drivers.

These facts make it clear that eliminating texting and driving is the number one way to reduce a teen's chance of being in an accident and should be a priority in your home.Texting and driving is the new drunk driving. In fact, studies have shown that people often perform worse while texting and driving than when they are legally impaired. Adult drivers (age 25+) also have alarmingly high rates of texting and driving, but teens have far more accidents per driver. No one would argue that teens have far more experience texting and are far better texters than adults over the age of 25, so why do they have such a higher rate of accidents?

One big reason actually relates to their superior texting skills. Teens are so good at texting while engaged in other activities that they believe they have the necessary skills to continue texting when they get behind the wheel. Unfortunately, teens have a false sense of confidence in their texting and driving abilities. Another contributing factor is their lack of experience in driving. A teen driver may posses all the necessary skills to be a very safe driver, but the lack of time on the road causes them to text in more high risk driving situations. An adult driver may choose to put the phone away during high traffic situations even if they choose to foolishly text and drive at other times. A teen may not make that same choice, causing them to have a higher chance of causing an accident.

While there are many other factors that contribute to a teen's higher texting and driving crash rate, it's important to know that there are simple steps you can take to make sure your teen does not fall victim to a texting accident. I wrote a recent article about the "Top 4 Ways To Stop Your Teen From Texting And Driving" but we want you to have our free paper on the Top 7 Ways To Stop Your Teen From Texting and Driving and a copy of the text free driving pledge. It's free, it's instantaneous and it could help save your teen's life!

 Click me

If you haven't joined the text free community yet, go to www.facebook.com/textfreedriver today!

Tags: texting and driving statistics, teens texting and driving, teen texting and driving accident