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Survey: Teens Texting And Driving Remains Prevalent

Last updated on Wednesday, April 11, 2012

(INDIANAPOLIS) - A new survey shows teens ignoring the dangers of distracted driving. That survey, taken by State Farm Insurance, shows that, despite greater emphasis on the dangers of texting and driving, teens still aren’t getting the message.

Teenagers are most at risk to car crashes, which are the leading cause of death among teens.

The survey provides bad news and good news for teens, and their parents.

First, the bad news: Only 43% of drivers age 16-17 never texted while driving - numbers the mirror State Farm's 2010 survey.

The good news: Fewer teens text "very often" and even more "rarely" text.
According to State Farm, parents really do have an impact on their child's decision to text and drive. And the survey showed most teens agree texting will likely result in an accident, or even death.

The problem is those numbers don't vary from past surveys.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows crash rates for teenagers (age 16-19) are four times higher than drivers 20 and older, with 16-year-olds showing the highest risk.

Indiana rates "good" when it comes to programs in place to teach teens safe driving techniques. Programs mean Indiana has a 30-percent lower rate for fatal crashes than those states rated as "poor."

The survey also shows parents have a big influence on their teens' decisions while driving.

Graduated driver's licensing - where new drivers begin with heavy parental supervision, then get more privileges the more hours they drive - may be key. Every state requires this to some degree, including Indiana. But it's also something parents can implement at home if they feel their teen driver needs more regulation.

There are also plenty of organized programs for teen driving safety, including one offered by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

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