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Studies find teens text while driving a lot, but adults do it even more

Thirty-nine states and the District of Columbia have completely banned texting while driving, with five more states banning inexperienced drivers from texting behind the wheel. Following these bans and extensive media campaigns highlighting the dangers of texting while driving, one might expect American drivers to reduce their texting-while-driving habits. However, recent studies find millions of teenagers and even more adults continue to risk a serious car accident and text while driving.

Study analyzed teen risk behavior

According to Global Post, researchers at Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York analyzed data collected in the 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Survey conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. After reviewing data from 7,833 high school students with driver’s licenses, the study found that 43 percent of teenagers admitted to texting while driving within the last 30 days.

The study found that more males admitted to texting while driving than females, with 46 percent of the males saying they did so, while only 40 percent of the female respondents admitted to texted while driving. In addition, the study found that texting while driving was more common among drivers over age 18 (52 percent) than among drivers aged 15 years old (26 percent).

Study finds adults text behind the wheel more often

Perhaps surprisingly, another survey found that adults text when driving even more often than teenagers do. According to a survey of 1,011 adult drivers conducted by AT&T and reported by USA Today, 49 percent of adults admit to texting while driving, even though 98 percent also acknowledge that they know doing so is dangerous. Further, 60 percent of the adult drivers said they never texted while driving three years ago.

When extrapolating this data to the nation as a whole, John Ulczycki with the National Safety Council said these surveys show that about 10 million teenage drivers text behind the wheel and about 180 million adult drivers engage in the same dangerous behavior.

Data from the CDC shows that, on average, nine people are killed and more than 1,000 people are injured in car accidents caused by distracted driving every day. The number of people killed in distracted driving car accidents has also been on the rise, with 3,267 people fatally injured in 2010 and 3,331 people fatally injured in 2011, according to the CDC.

If you have been hurt in an accident with a distracted driver, you may be able to obtain compensation for your injuries, medical expenses and time spent away from work through a personal injury lawsuit. Contact a personal injury lawyer with experience in car accident cases for more information.