Texting and Driving’s the New Drinking and Driving, at Least Among Teens

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At this point, it really shouldn’t take another study to show us that texting and driving is not safe. But another study showing that is exactly what we have this week, with a paper published today in the journal Pediatrics showing that texting and driving is now responsible for more car accidents — and more fatalities — among teen drivers than drunk driving. 

The study by Cohen Children’s Medical Center found that texting and driving was responsible for more than 3,000 fatalities among teenagers last year, while drinking and driving claimed the lives of 2,700 teens. Granted, this is skewed by the fact that texting is way easier and more common for a teenager to do than getting hammered. But it also shows that this common behavior is lethal.

The study also suggested that laws against texting and driving didn’t stop teenagers from doing it — 57% of teens in states with laws against texting while driving reported sending a text while driving, compared to a barely higher 59% who reported doing so in states where it’s not illegal.

Look, I don’t want to get too up in arms about this, but the facts are continuing to come in pretty clearly on this point, and no matter how good you think you are at it (you’re not) or how important you think that text conversation you’re having is (it’s not) the numbers show that texting and driving is just straight up dumb and dangerous. And while you can make laws about it, the only thing that’s really going to change the situation is for us to really change our attitudes about it as a society. While I don’t look forward to shaming my friends over this sort of thing, I’m willing to start, because it’s for their own good, and everybody else’s, too.

At some point, people who insist they can text and drive and it’s fine are going to start sounding like that buddy you had in college who “drove better when he had a few.” You know, that guy you don’t hang out with anymore, because jeez, he’s a nice enough dude, but what an asshat, right?

You don’t want to be that guy. You’re better than that guy. So please, prove it — put the phone down and drive the car, folks.

(via Red Orbit)

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