Tuesday, May 15, 2012 — Texting, teens and driving isn’t anything new, but it is a recipe for disaster — clearly a risk that teens keep taking despite the consequences. According to a new nationwide survey released this week, half of teens admit they know it is not a safe thing to do, but they have done it anyway.
The poll, conducted by an independent research firm for AT&T, confirmed something equally troubling. About 75 percent of teens polled reported that while texting was common among their friends, they revealed their parents also text at nearly the same rate as they do while driving.
Not surprisingly, texting is the main mode of communication for teenagers at an average rate of more than 3,400 per month, according to Nielsen research. AT&T’s Director of Consumer Safety and Education Andrea Brands found it especially interesting that teens believe that reading a text is less dangerous than typing one. In fact, 61 percent of teens said they had glanced at their phone while driving in the past three months.
Brands said the information is helping AT&T to develop its “It Can Wait” initiatives. One of the planned programs is a 30-city tour that kicked off last week. The tour includes a texting-while-driving simulator — a computerized car — that drives home the example of what can happen to someone who texts and drives.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 3,092 deaths in 2010 related to “distracted-affected crashes.”