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Survey: Parents and Peers Can Help Cut Down on Teen Texting While Driving


by Larry Magid

A survey conducted by C&R Research and, in partnership with AT&T, found that most teens don’t text while driving and that those who do might benefit from a bit of friendly persuasion from parents and other teens.

The full report will be released in early December but — based on a preliminary analysis of the data — it appears that that most teens understand that texting while driving (TWD) is dangerous – nearly matching the awareness of the risks of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) (96% said TWD is very or somewhat unsafe compared to 97% for DUI).

The survey also found that parents also have an influence over whether a teen will TWD. Eighty-five percent of teens said that they would be likely to stop texting “if a parent in your car ask you to stop.” An additional 9% said somewhat likely for a total of 94%. Eighty-eight percent of of teens said they would stop texting if a friend about their own age asked them to stop (67% very and 22% somewhat), 44% of teen drivers said that they would be either glad or thankful if a passenger complained about their texting while driving.

Seventy-eight percent of teens say they’re likely or very likely not to TWD if friends say it’s wrong or stupid and slightly fewer (76%) will if adults say it’s dangerous).

The study also examined texting while driving attitudes of younger (non-driving) teens and the impact of parents as role models when it comes to teen texting while driving. The full results will be included in the study’s final report when it’s released in December. is a non-profit Internet safety and youth advocacy organization where I, along with Anne Collier serve as co-director.  The study was funded by AT&T.


Anne Collier’s blog post TWD going the way of DUI
AT&T’s It Can Wait campaign: “Take the pledge to never txt & drive”
Texting while driving: How Dangerous is it (Car and Driver)

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