Nationwide, 32.8% of students had texted or e-mailed while driving a car or other vehicle on at least 1 day during the 30 days before the Centers for Disease Control conducted its 2011 Youth Risk Survey (PDF). That percentage jumped to 43% for 11th graders and 58% for high school seniors.
In a seperate report, the CDC found:
- In 2009, more than 5,400 people died in crashes that were reported to involve a distracted driver and about 448,000 people were injured.
- Among those killed or injured in these crashes, nearly 1,000 deaths and 24,000 injured included cell phone use as the major distraction.
- The proportion of drivers reportedly distracted at the time of a fatal crash has increased from 7 percent in 2005 to 11 percent in 2009.
- When asked whether driving feels safer, less safe, or about the same as it did five years ago, more than 1 in 3 drivers say driving feels less safe today. Distracted driving—cited by 3 out of 10 of these drivers—was the single most common reason given for feeling less safe today.
There are apps for cutting back on texting while driving, but no silver bullet
The Associated Press looked at several smartphone apps designed to cut down on texting while driving and found that “The industry doesn’t have a surefire cure.”
The following “Mom Gone Wild” video is part of a series from ConnectSafely and AT&T. Others in the series are Parent Behaving Badly and It’s Legit to Quit. All videos are designed to encourage parents to be not only safer drivers but also better role models.