More than 4 in 10 teens admit to texting while driving, and those that do are more likely to engage in other risks while driving.
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's Pediatrics, released online today.
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.
"But the big picture is that the greatest single risk to teenagers in this country is getting hurt or killed in a motor vehicle crash; that's the most likely thing to result in their death," he says. "And texting while driving makes teen driving even more dangerous."
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