July 23, 2007
Teenagers admit text-messaging is the worst distraction while driving
Boston, Massachusetts – Research by the U.S. group SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) and Liberty Mutual Insurance Group shows that instant or text messaging while driving leads the list as the biggest distraction for teenagers while driving.
In a survey of more than 900 teenagers with driver’s licenses, teenagers rated the following behaviours or activities as “extremely” or “very” distracting:
- Instant or text messaging while driving – 37 per cent
- Driver’s emotional state – 20 per cent
- Having several friends in the car – 19 per cent
- Talking on a cell phone – 14 per cent
- Eating or drinking – 7 per cent
- Having a friend in the car – 5 per cent
- Listening to music – 4 per cent
The two groups suggest that parents set family rules about driving, and outline clear consequences if the rules are broken. Suggested rules include no use of alcohol or other drugs; no cell phone use, including text messaging; limiting or restricting friends in the car without an adult; no driving after 10 p.m.; and keeping both hands on the wheel, without eating, changing CDs, handling iPods or putting on makeup.