If your teen texts while driving, chances are he or she also practices other dangerous motor vehicle habits — including failing to buckle up and driving after they have been drinking, a new federal analysis finds.
In 2011, 45% of all students 16 and older reported that they had texted or e-mailed while driving during the past 30 days, says the study by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and reported in June issue of Pediatrics.
Teens who texted while driving were five times more likely than those who didn't to drive when they had been drinking alcohol. And the more they texted the worse their seat belt habit. Teens who texted every day while driving during the past month were more than 40% more likely to not always wear their seat belts than were teens who engaged in texting while driving once or twice in the past 30 days.
It's not surprising that kids who take such risks in one area may be more likely to take risks in other areas, says CDC Director Thomas Frieden.
The new study (drawn from a survey of 8,500 high school students 16 and older) is the second this month to highlight evidence suggesting that texting and driving is associated with other dangerous behaviors.