Motor vehicle crashes are the
leading cause of death among U.S. adolescents aged 16 to 19. Parents know to warn their kids not to drink and drive, but since texting
and driving is much more common it may be even more dangerous, a new study that
CBS News New York recently reported shows.
The article is also linked to
Researchers at Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York in New
Hyde Park estimate that more than 3,000 teens die annually nationwide
from texting while driving compared to about 2,700 teens for driving while
under the influence of alcohol.
“The reality is kids aren’t drinking seven days per week- they
are carrying their phones and texting seven days per week, so you intuitively
know this is a more common occurrence,” said Dr. Andrew Adesman,
Chief of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, Cohen Children’s
Medical Center in the
Adesman further found that laws against texting while driving have little
impact among teen drivers. Physicians “need to discuss this with
license-eligible teens, and they need to [help ensure], too, that parents
are not [setting the example] by texting while driving,” he told
Pediatric News Digital Network.
Forty-five percent of teens reported texting while driving during the past
30 days, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s
2011 national Youth Risk Behavior Survey, which was the first to assess
texting while driving among 8,505 students aged 16 and older.
Emily O’Malley Olsen and her associates at the CDC reported in the
May 13, 2013 online issue of
Pediatrics that male students had a higher prevalence of texting while driving than
Texting while driving was also positively associated with other risky behaviors
including not wearing a seatbelt, riding with a driver who has been drinking
alcohol, and drinking alcohol and driving.
It is important that parents set a good example of driving for their children,
not only so they don’t cause an accident themselves, but also since
they may be liable even if they’re not the ones doing the driving.
Parents of minors who drive negligently or recklessly may be liable in
Florida under state law,
Fla. Stat. § 322.09(2). If you or someone you know has been injured due to a negligent driver, please
 CDC. Web-based injury statistics query and reporting system. (WISQARS). 2010.
 Emily O’Malley Olsen, Texting While Driving and Other Risky Motor
Vehicle Behaviors Among US High School Students, 131 Pediatrics, Number
6, 1708 (June 2013).