AT&T survey concludes Hispanic teens most likely to text and drive

Posted on May 18, 2012

More than half of Hispanic teenagers report sending text messages while driving, according to the results of a new survey conducted by AT&T as part of its “It Can Wait” public safety awareness campaign. The phone company’s advertising initiative is intended to discourage motorists from engaging in text based messaging while behind the wheel of a moving vehicle. According to the survey results, approximately 54 percent of Hispanic teenage respondents reported sending or reading text messages while driving, compared to 42 percent of African American teenagers and 41 percent of Caucasian teenagers who reported engaging in the distracted driving habit. In total approximately 43 percent of all teenage drivers surveyed admitted to texting behind the wheel, and 75 percent reported seeing their peers do the same. According to the survey results, 78 percent of the Hispanic teenage respondents reported owning a smart phone, compared to 68 percent of Caucasian teenage respondents. Representatives from the League of United Latin American Citizens say the advocacy organization has a responsibility to encourage safer driving habits among Hispanic teens and their parents. An estimated 52 percent of all teenage Hispanic survey respondents reported seeing their parents text while driving, in comparison to the 44 percent of African American teens and the 38 percent of Cauacasian teens who offered the same response to the survey question. According to auto safety statistics, teenagers are up to five times more likely to send text messages while driving than adults.

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