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.

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Jun 9, 2012 1:26 PM CDT
Far more dangerous than drunk driving with anything less than double the legal minimum BAC.
Jun 9, 2012 9:32 AM CDT
The idea of "I can do whatever I want and to hell with the consequences" is largely the bastard stepchild of conservatives. They just can't wrap their heads around the idea that just because you can do/say something doesn't mean you should. Driving and using the cell phone is a huge problem here in AR-I get stuck behind such a driver at least a half-dozen times a week going as much as 15 mph UNDER the limit. I say ban all texting while driving for everyone and allow phone use only with a hands-free device with limitations when in high-traffic areas.
Jun 9, 2012 3:45 AM CDT
Next time you go to the mall or the grocery store notice how many of them pay no attention to where they are walking because they are too busy texting.