Nearly half of teenage drivers in the United States continue to text while driving despite high profile campaigns and laws against such a practice, a new study reveals.
Researchers at Cohen Children's Medical Center in New York made use of the data from the 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in which more than 7,800 US high school children took part.
The participants were asked whether they had texted or sent e-mails while driving a motor vehicle over the past 30 days and the researchers found that around 43 percent of the students admitted doing so. The results of the study were presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting on Saturday.
"Texting while driving has become, in the words of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, a 'national epidemic'. Although teens may be developmentally predisposed to engage in risk-taking behavior, reducing the prevalence of texting while driving is an obvious and important way to ensure the health and safety of teen drivers, their passengers and the surrounding public", the principal investigator, Alexandra Bailin said.