In a study published on Monday, one-fourth of US teenagers aged 16 and 17 have admitted to sending text messages while driving and over 40 percent have had a cell phone conversation while behind the wheel.
Twenty-six percent of teenagers aged 16 and 17 have texted while driving, according to the survey by the Pew Internet and American Life Project -- about the same rate as found in separate studies conducted among adults.
The survey found boys and girls were equally likely to text while driving.
Forty-three percent of teens aged 16 and 17 have talked on a cellphone while driving, the study by the Washington-based Pew found.
According to Pew, 82 percent of teens aged 16 and 17 have a cellphone and 76 percent of them send text messages.
Forty-eight percent of teens aged 12 to 17 said they have been in a car when the driver was texting and 40 percent said they have been in a car when the driver used a cellphone in a way that put themselves or others in danger.
A number of US states have banned text messaging or talking on a handheld cellphone while driving and the US Senate is considering legislation to crack down on so-called "distracted driving."
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 5,870 fatalities last year in crashes in which the driver distraction was reported.
An estimated 515,000 people were injured in such crashes.
The Pew survey involved 800 teens between the ages of 12 and 18 and was conducted this summer. It has a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points.