Teens know texting while driving is dangerous; do it anyways

May 9, 2012 12:00 AM

Texting while driving has become a concerning problem for safety officials, yet a recent study shows teens are still engaging in the behavior despite being aware of the danger.

Consumer Reports surveyed drivers between the age of 16 to 21 about the dangerous practice. Approximately 80 percent admitted that texting while driving was a safety hazard, yet 29 percent said they had done so within the past month anyway. In addition, 63 percent said talking on the phone without a wireless headset was dangerous, yet 47 percent had done so recently.

While the results were discouraging, Consumer Reports notes many drivers stopped doing so after their friends or siblings spoke up about the practice. Most drivers avoided texting and talking with others in the car, and nearly half said someone had spoken to them about putting down the phone while driving.

"Our survey showed that while far too many young people are driving while distracted, they are less likely to do so when their parents, friends, or siblings set a good example," said Rik Paul, auto editor for Consumer Reports. "We encourage everyone to stop the car in a safe place if they need to use a cell phone. And if they're riding with a driver using a handheld phone, ask him or her to put it down and stop gambling with their safety."

While it may not stop dangerous behavior, car owners should be sure to keep up with their vehicle maintenance to reduce the risk of an accident.

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