One out of every four American teens aged 16 or 17 have texted while driving, and more than 40 percent have talked on the phone while driving, according to a new report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project.
They'd better stop. All cell phone use is illegal for drivers under 18 in North Carolina, and starting Dec. 1, texting is illegal for drivers of all ages in the state. (See Oct. 13 Road Worrier column on texting teens.)
The report released today, "Teens and Distracted Driving: Talking, texting and other uses of the cell phone behind the wheel," also says:
- 82% of U.S. teens aged 16-17 own cell phones, and 76% of these cell-phoners use them to send or receive text messages.
- 34% of texting 16-17 yr olds say they have texted while driving. That means 26% of all teens aged 16 and 17. Among teens aged 12-17, 48% say they have been in a car while the driver was texting.
- 52% of cell-phoners aged 16-17 say they have talked on the phone while driving. That means 43% of all American teens in that age group.