Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Study: Teens Guilty of TWD (Texting While Driving)

"Hi, can't talk now....I'm texting, and, like, you know, driving."

Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety surveyed teens on their biggest distractions while driving and found cellphone texting at the top of the list.

Thirty-seven percent of teens cited text messaging as extremely or very distracting; 20 percent said they were distracted because of their emotional state and 19 percent cited friends in the car.

So, is this a problem?

Carolyn Gorman, of the Insurance Information Institute in Washington, says,

"Teenage drivers are the worst drivers on the road, and if they're text messaging, it just adds to the danger, not only to them but to the rest of us."

Almost 80 percent of crashes and 65 percent of near-crashes involved some form of driver inattention within three seconds of the crash, according to a study released in April by Virginia Tech University and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The same study found that the most common distraction is the use of cellphones, followed by drowsiness.

No one has yet to do a study linking texting to car crashes. But in August, an Allen Park, Mich., police officer was injured when his stopped cruiser was plowed into on Interstate 94 by a 17-year-old driver who was texting.

The teen was charged with careless driving. Maybe he should have been charged with DUIT (Driving while Under the Influence of Texting).

Source: Jim Debrosse, Cox News Service

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