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HHS HealthBeat (June 26, 2013)

Teens texting and driving


A teenage girl.

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Distracted Driving

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

Teens love to text. Teens love to drive. The problem is that many teens love to text while they drive. At the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Emily Olsen saw this in national survey data from 2011:

“Nearly half of all U.S. high school students of driving age engaged in texting while driving during the 30 days before the survey.”

A quarter of students who texted while driving texted daily.

Olsen says students who texted while driving also were more likely to do other risky things, such as not wearing a seat belt, driving drunk, or riding with a drunk driver.

Teens are inexperienced drivers and may overestimate their ability. Olsen says parents can keep track of how their teens are driving, and set an example in driving safely.

The study is in the journal Pediatrics.

Learn more at healthfinder.gov.

HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: June 25, 2013