A Third of Teens Say They've Texed While Driving

Jim Liebelt | Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University | Monday, November 16, 2009

A Third of Teens Say They've Texed While Driving

 According to a new survey from Pew Internet, when it comes to texting while driving, the nut (teens) don't fall far from the tree (parents)...

A third of teens ages 16 and 17 say they have texted while driving and 48 percent of teens ages 12 to 17 say they have been in a car when the driver was texting, according to a new survey from the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

While those findings may not surprise some, Pew senior research specialist Amanda Lenhart said she was surprised "to hear (from teens) about how it's often parents or other adults who are doing the texting or talking and driving, and how for many teens, this is scary or worrisome behavior."

"Much of the public discussion around these behaviors has focused on teens as young, inexperienced drivers, but some of the adults in these young peoples' lives are clearly not setting the best example either," said Mary Madden, Pew senior research specialist who also worked on the survey.

"Teens spoke not only of adults texting at the wheel, but also fumbling with GPS devices and being distracted because they're talking on the phone constantly," she said. "And the reactions from the teens we spoke with ranged from being really scared by these behaviors to feeling as though it wasn't a big deal."

One teen boy quoted in the study said his dad "drives like he's drunk. His phone is just like sitting right in front of his face, and he puts his knees on the bottom of the steering wheel and tries to text."

Another boy, a middle-school student, was asked how often he is in "moving vehicle when the driver sends a text message." His answer? "All the time. My mom, sister or brother will sit behind the wheel the whole time and just text away."

Source: MSNBC