Despite the fact 87 percent of teens believe texting while driving is dangerous, 80 percent of teen girls and 58 percent of teen boys admit that they text while driving.A study released today by The Allstate Foundation and National Organizations for Youth Safety revealed young drivers understand risky behavior, but that they still tempt their fate behind the wheel. The survey, which was released in conjunction with National Youth Traffic Safety Month, also revealed these young drivers feel talking and texting on cell phones is as dangerous as driving on icy roads and in rain and snow.Car crashes are the No. 1 cause of death and injuries for teens in the United States. Most car crashes involving teens are preventable – caused by speeding, driver error and distractions. To gain a fresh perspective on young driver knowledge, attitudes and behaviors National Organizations for Youth Safety worked with TRU, a research company, which surveyed 605 young drivers, ages 16- to 20-years-old from across the United States.Through funding support from The Allstate Foundation, this survey found that many young drivers understand risks, but still chose to engage in those dangerous activities while behind the wheel.Key findings include:• Although they admit texting while driving is dangerous, 80 percent of girls and 58 percent of boys text while driving. • Young drivers believe driving on icy roads (93 percent), driving while texting (87 percent). driving in the rain/snow (79 percent), and driving while talking on a cell phone (63 percent), is dangerous. • Nearly 40 percent of teens have heard about graduated driver licensing, but only 23 percent say their parents know their state’s graduated driver licensing laws. Parents who do enforce graduated driver licensing, however, have a big impact – fewer of their sons and daughters say they’ve been ticketed (15 percent vs. 23 percent) and fewer have come close to being in a collision (56 percent vs. 72 percent). • Nearly half (42 percent) of teens knew a friend or family member who died or was seriously injured in a car crash. More teens who have lost a peer, friend or family member in a crash have been involved in a youth traffic safety effort. • 65 percent of teens have asked someone to stop driving unsafely, and that number rises to 75 percent for teens involved in a youth traffic safety effort.The survey was conducted in January 2009, with a margin of error of, of +/-4 percentage points and a 95 percent confidence level. To obtain a summary of the survey data, visit www.noys.org.Established in 1952, The Allstate Foundation is an independent, charitable organization made possible by subsidiaries of The Allstate Corporation. The Allstate Foundation partners with non-profit organizations on community initiatives that promote “safe and vital communities,” “tolerance, inclusion, and diversity” and “economic empowerment.” Teen driving and empowering victims of domestic violence have been major initiatives for the Foundation since 2005. For more information. visit www.ProtectTeenDrivers.com. Founded on February 8, 1994, the National Organizations for Youth Safety is a coalition of about 40 national organizations and government agencies with one common goal, to promote safe and healthy behaviors among America’s youth. Through this network, National Organizations for Youth Safety influences more than 80 million youth and adults. The mission of National Organizations for Youth Safety is to promote youth empowerment and leadership, and build partnerships that save lives, prevent injuries, and enhance safe and healthy lifestyles among all youth.
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