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Despite drops, texting and driving still common among teens

A recent study yielded some good news and some bad news when it comes to texting while driving and teen drivers.

What is the good news? Well, it appears that texting while driving is trending downward among teen drivers in the United States. The study looked at responses of teen drivers in surveys that were conducted between 2011 and 2013 to come up with estimates regarding how common texting while driving was among teen drivers. Based on the responses, the study estimated that, in 2011, around 43 percent of teen drivers engaged in texting while driving. However, the percentage that the study estimated for 2013 was a good deal lower than this.

What is contributing to texting while driving going down among teen drivers? One thing that some point to as a factor is the trend of states banning texting while driving. As a note, while state law here in Oklahoma does not currently directly ban all drivers from texting while they are driving, it does  directly prohibit many teens from engaging in such conduct. This is because, as we noted in a previous post, Oklahoma law does ban learner's permit holders and holders of intermediate licenses from texting while driving. 

Now onto the bad news from the study. While texting while driving may be on the decline among teen drivers, there are still quite a few teen drivers who engage in it. This can be seen in what the study estimated the 2013 rate of texting while driving among teens to be. While the rate was a marked improvement over the 2011 rate, it still was at around 30 percent. This is still a concerningly high percentage, given how much harm can occur as a result of texting while driving by teen drivers. 

Why do you think that texting while driving, despite drops, remains (in general) fairly common among teen drivers? What do you think could help to bring texting-while-driving levels among teen drivers down further? 

Significant accidents can end up occurring when teen drivers text when behind the wheel or engage in other dangerous driving behavior. Attorneys can help individuals who have been injured by a teen driver who was acting unsafely understand what their options are.

Source: philly.com, "Too Many Teens Still Texting While Driving," Robert Preidt, April 27, 2015

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