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Texting More Dangerous for Teens than Driving Drunk, Study Shows

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Posted on June 28, 2013

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among U.S. adolescents aged 16 to 19.[1] 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 YouTube.

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 theCBS article.

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 ofPediatrics[2] that male students had a higher prevalence of texting while driving than female students.

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 contact us.

[1] CDC. Web-based injury statistics query and reporting system. (WISQARS). 2010.

[2] 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).

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