ATLANTA, GA - Teen voices count when it comes to texting while driving, according to a national survey conducted in July by State Farm and Harris Interactive. However, for many teens, the attitude around texting while driving may still be “do as I say – not as I do.”
While a passenger in a car, nearly four in five teens (78 percent) said they spoke up and pointed out a driver’s distracted behavior. Once raising the issue, 84 percent said the driver listened and stopped driving distracted.
Atlanta resident and Fredrick Douglass High School senior Amber Hughes said that she “sees her peers engaging in texting and driving every day and many of them just don’t realize the danger of this behavior. Commercials highlighting the dangers of texting and driving are effective, but unfortunately many of my peers forget about the message as soon as they get behind the wheel. We need more awareness and activities to educate new and upcoming drivers about the dangers of texting while driving.”
Of the nearly one in five teens (16 percent) who did not point out the distracted behavior, almost half (48 percent) stated they felt the driver could handle the distraction so they did not speak up. The survey also indicated that while the majority of teens tell others not to text and drive, about a third still engage in the behavior themselves. In the survey, 34 percent indicated they had engaged in texting while driving.
“It was very promising to see so many teens voice their concerns about this issue and see that the drivers listened to them and took action,” says said Chris Mullen, Director of Technology Research at State Farm. “Research tells us that texting while driving can be just as dangerous as drinking and driving. More education and conversations need to occur so teens understand that no one can handle driving distracted.”
This survey was conducted by telephone within the United States between July 24 through July 30 2012 by Harris Interactive on behalf of State Farm among 650 U.S. 14-18 year olds. Figures for age, sex, geographic region, and race/ethnicity were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. For more information please contact Justin Tomczak at (770) 418-5562