Half of Teen Drivers Text Behind Wheel
Feds are renewing crackdown on distracted driving
By Dustin Lushing, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 8, 2012 5:35 PM CDT
A stock photo of a person texting while driving.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – More than half of high school seniors have texted while driving, according to a federal survey that collected the data for the first time ever. In the survey, 58% of 12th-graders admitted to texting or emailing while behind the wheel, while 43% of 11th-graders said they did also, reports AP. The findings come as the government rekindles a crackdown on distracted driving, which is now a "national epidemic," says Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood.

In brighter news, the survey said more teens are wearing seat belts (8% say they rarely or never strap up, compared to 26% in 1991), and half as many teens (8%) admitted that they had driven drunk or had been in a car with a drunk driver as did in the 1990s. Click to read about a Massachusetts teen who will spend a year in jail because he caused a fatal crash while texting and driving.