Texting and Driving Kills Teens

Glenn Swanson
by Glenn Swanson
texting and driving kills teens

In late June, a 17-year-old driving an SUV in East Bloomfield, New York slammed head-on into a truck, killing her and four other recent high school grads in the car. Police claim text messaging (to friends in a following car) moments before the crash was a contributory factor. "The records indicate her phone was in use," Sheriff Phil Povero said diplomatically. "We will never be able to clearly state that she was the one doing the text messaging." Meanwhile, according to new research by SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) and Liberty Mutual Insurance Group, instant and text messaging lead the list as the biggest driving distraction for teens. Seventy-three percent of teens admit to talking on a cell phone while behind the wheel. Where do teens pick up these bad habits? Some 62 percent of high school-aged teens told researchers their parents talk on a cell while driving.

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  • Thagomizer Thagomizer on Jul 23, 2007
    They can’t make computer guided cars soon enough. If something is made to be idiot-proof, someone will make a better idiot. While death is always tragic, think about it: That's five texting girls taken off the road. Five careless drivers who won't be driving SUVs and endangering others on the road while blabbing away on their cells. With fewer poorly-skilled drivers off the road, driving will be safer for the general masses.
  • LoserBoy LoserBoy on Jul 23, 2007
    And it’ll have to get much worse before the outrage overpowers the special interests who have a stake in the current (lax) system. I call b.s. Who are these mysterious "interests" who want people driving like maniacs? (It certainly isn't the insurance companies; their interest lies in never having to pay out a claim.)
  • Andyinsdca Andyinsdca on Jul 23, 2007

    Ric Romero reports, you decide.

  • Leighzbohns Leighzbohns on Jul 24, 2007

    @ thesane: "...but there are also a lot of cyclists that jump between the sidewalk and the road, as well as ignore stop signs or bypass backed up traffic by running the yellow line." As a frequent bicycle commuter, I have to say that one of the advantages of bicycling is that you can lane split and jump traffic jams. I'm not forcing you to sit in traffic in your car, so don't get mad at me for taking advantage of the situation. I recognize that stop sign running is a problem, and often I do come to a full stop, but when mom is paranoid of running me over, is talking on a cell phone, and is just sitting there, I'm gonna take her damn turn and just go. @ Dynamic88: As someone who has driven while talking on a cell phone, it is severely distracting, even on a straight stretch of freeway, I've ended up in easily avoidable situations because I let me attention lapse because I was talking on the phone. No cell phones for me. Also, as I observe other drivers, about 90% of the ridiculous dangerous idiots going 10 under, swerving, and going too slow are blathering away on the phone. The rest are old, drunk, or both. I think that the penalty for talking on the phone while driving should be EXACTLY THE SAME as the penalty for driving while drunk, because the effect is pretty much identical.