State Farm survey: Teens are unaware of texting while driving dangers

Sept. 20, 2010

September 20, 2010—New State Farm survey results show that teens do not believe texting and driving is as dangerous as drunken driving, despite academic research that shows it is.

The majority of teens, 55 percent, said drunken driving could be fatal, where as only 36 percent said texting and driving could be fatal, according to the State Farm survey. Of teens that do not text and drive, 73 percent believe that, if they did, they would get into an accident; however, of teens that admit to texting and driving, only 52 percent believe they could get into an accident.

The United Kingdom’s Transport Research Library (TRL) said, in a 2008 study, that reaction time of 17- to 24-year-old drivers was reduced by 35 percent when typing a text message, compared to 12 percent when driving after drinking to the legal limit.

"Some teens still think the consequences of reaching for a cell phone are less severe than reaching for a beer bottle," said Laurette Stiles, vice president of strategic resources at State Farm. "We have a lot of catching up to do when it comes to helping teens understand that texting while driving can be every bit as dangerous as drinking while driving. It's an awareness gap that must be addressed."

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