Most Teens Still Driving while Distracted, Despite Knowing Risks

A survey released today by AAA and Seventeen magazine reports that nearly nine in ten teenage drivers have engaged in distracted-driving behaviors - such as texting and talking on cell phones, adjusting radios, driving with four or more passengers, and applying makeup - even though they know that their actions increase their risk of an accident.

Specifically, 86 percent of those surveyed admitted to having driven while distracted, even though 84 percent recognized the danger.

Many recent efforts against distracted driving have focused on texting while driving.  Thirty states now have bans on texting by all drivers, and eight states prohibit texting by young drivers.  See this recent Capitol Facts & Figures report for the complete list of states. 

However, the survey results indicate that focusing solely on texting will not eliminate distracted driving.  The top three behaviors reported by teens were: adjusting a radio/CD/MP3 player (73%), eating (61%) and talking on a cellphone (60%).  Just 28% had sent a text message.