Teen texting and driving: More than half admit to doing it

Published: Friday, June 8 2012 10:35 a.m. MDT

Teens using electronics behind the wheel may be more widespread than realized. Federal statistics released Thursday showed that about 58 percent of high school seniors admit to texting or emailing while driving, in just the past month. And for high school juniors it was 43 percent.

Texting and cellphone use behind the wheel is "a national epidemic," Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Thursday.

"We need to teach kids, who are the most vulnerable drivers, that texting and driving don't mix," LaHood said at a Washington news conference to announce pilot projects in Delaware and California to discourage distracted driving.

The findings released Thursday are the first federal statistics on how common the dangerous habit is in teens. Distracted driving deaths are most common in teens, blamed for about 16 percent of teen motor vehicle deaths.

Read more about Teen texting and driving on Christian Science Monitor.

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