80 percent of teens surveyed see peers text and drive

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Though approximately 80 percent of the young drivers responding to a Consumer Reports distracted driving survey agreed that using a handheld communication device for text based messaging or internet access while operating a moving vehicle is extremely dangerous, nearly three in ten survey respondents reported sending or receiving a text message while behind the wheel in the past month. Additionally, an estimated 63 percent of survey respondents said they considered talking on a handheld cellphone while driving to be hazardous behavior, but nearly half of the young drivers surveyed reported having a cellphone conversation while behind the wheel of a moving vehicle within the past month. Some analysts, when reviewing the results of this survey, speculated that the discrepancy between what young drivers profess to think about using handheld communication devices while driving, and their self-reported real world behavior can be explained as a response to the behavior they see exhibited by their peers and even by their parents.

More than 8 out of 10 young drivers surveyed reported witnessing other young drivers holding cellphone conversations while operating a moving automobile, 7 out of 10 reported seeing their peers text messaging, and more than 3 out of 10 respondents reported seeing other young drivers engaging in email communications or accessing social networking websites while behind the wheel. Additionally, nearly half of the respondents reported seeing their parents talking on a cellphone while driving.