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Don't txt n drive: Teens not getting msg
Date:5/3/2013

or other vehicle?"

The researchers also sought to determine whether other high-risk behaviors are associated with texting while driving and if state laws prohibiting drivers from texting are effective among high school students.

Survey results showed that males were more likely to text while driving than females (46 percent vs. 40 percent), and the prevalence of texting increased with age (52 percent of those over 18 years; 46 percent of 17-year-olds; 33 percent of 16-year-olds; and 26 percent of 15-year-olds).

Furthermore, teens who reported texting while driving were more likely to engage in other risky behaviors such as driving under the influence of alcohol, having unprotected sex and using an indoor tanning device.

"By identifying associated high-risk behaviors such as these," Bailin said, "it is our hope that we can develop more effective mechanisms to reduce texting while driving."

The researchers also found that state laws banning texting while driving had little effect: 39 percent of teens reported texting in states where it is illegal vs. 44 percent of teens in states that have no restrictions.

"Although texting while driving was slightly less common in states that prohibit it, the reality is that millions of teens text while driving," said senior investigator Andrew Adesman, MD, FAAP, chief of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York. "Regrettably, our analysis suggests that state laws do not significantly reduce teen texting while driving.

"Technological solutions will likely need to be developed to significantly reduce the frequency of texting while driving," Dr. Adesman concluded. "When it comes to teen texting while driving, phones will have to get smarter if they are to protect teens (and others) from doing dumb things."


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Contact: Susan Stevens Martin
ssmartin@aap.org
847-434-7131
American Academy of Pediatrics
Source:Eurekalert

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