1-in-3 teens text, e-mail while driving

June 7, 2012 at 11:25 PM
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ATLANTA, June 7 (UPI) -- One-third of U.S. high school students say they texted or e-mailed while driving a car in the past month, but almost all teens wear seat belts, officials say.

The National Youth Risk Behavior Survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported although motor vehicle crashes account for more than 1-in-3 U.S. teen deaths each year, the survey showed the percentage of high school students who never or rarely wore a seatbelt declined from 26 percent to 8 percent from 1991 to 2011.

The percentage of students who rode with a driver who had been drinking alcohol during the past 30 days declined from 40 percent to 24 percent during the same span, while the percentage of high school students who had driven a car during the past 30 days when they had been drinking alcohol dropped from 17 percent in 1997 to 8 percent in 2011.

The survey found the use of technology among youth has resulted in new risks of texting and e-mailing.

More than 15,000 U.S. high school students participated in the 2011 survey. Parental permission was obtained for students to participate in the survey and student participation was voluntary, and responses were anonymous, health officials said.

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