Teen drivers who text often blame parents

Teenagers who text and drive aren't taking all of the blame for their distracted driving -- many point the finger at their parents. A new study of teen behaviors says 55 percent report texting their parents while behind the wheel in order to update them. Nearly 1 in 5 teens told the researchers that their parents expect a text response within a minute, and 25 percent said the folks wanted to hear back within five minutes. Not surprisingly, there appears to be a disconnect. Almost 6 in 10 parents told researchers they did not have expectations about immediate responses to their texts. … [Read more...]

Teens quick to pick up distractions

Newly licensed teens start out paying close attention to the road but quickly turn into distracted drivers, according to a new study. Multitasking behaviors such as talking on cell phones and eating while behind the wheel peak about a year and a half after the teens begin to drive, the study by Virginia Tech Transportation Institute researchers suggested. "Novice drivers are more likely to engage in high-risk secondary tasks more frequently over time as they became more comfortable with driving," said Charlie Klauer, group leader of teen risk at the institute. "This appears to be an … [Read more...]

U.S. drivers the most distracted

U.S. drivers are far more likely than Europeans to drive while distracted by wireless communications devices such as cell phones, a trans-Atlantic study found. Almost 70 percent of U.S. drivers said they'd used a cell phone in the past 30 days, compared with 21 percent in the United Kingdom. The closest nation to the U.S. in cell phone & driving numbers was Portugal, with 60 percent of drivers admitting to the practice. Meanwhile, a new "teens and technology" survey finds that teens who own smartphones (such as the iPhone) access the Internet that way about half of the time, suggesting … [Read more...]

Teen driver deaths reported up 19%

Teenage driver deaths are up 19 percent, a new study shows, suggesting that the fatality count for 16- and 17-year old drivers will increase for the second straight year. The Governors Highway Safety Association statistics compared the first halves of 2011 and 2012. (Annual accident reports typically lag well behind the end of the year.) The group said that if final data continued the trend, then 2012 would follow 2011 in posting an increase in teen driver deaths. Before 2011, there were eight straight years of decreases. The GHSA did not indicate distracted driving was a suspect in the … [Read more...]

6 in 10 teens say they text, drive

Teenagers know all about the dangers of texting and driving, but most of them do it anyway. Those who don't probably have frequent talks with their parents about safety. That's the takeaway from a phone survey of 652 teens taken by Harris Interactive. Almost six in 10 teenagers with driver's licenses surveyed admitted to texting & driving. The idea that texting behind the wheel is the new drunken driving didn't find much support with the kids. Of the 14- to 17-year-olds who have a license or plan to get one (almost all of the teens), 63 percent strongly agree they will get into an … [Read more...]