Tuesday, 10 July, 2007 12:27 PM
AAA: Survey Shows Teens' Driving
Habits include Text Messaging Behind the Wheel
Seventeen magazine survey reveals speeding, phone calls common
-- An alarmingly high number of teen
drivers are engaging in some very risky behavior while they are
including sending and reading text messages, according to new survey
research by AAA and Seventeen magazine.
The survey, featured
in Seventeen magazine's August issue, on
newsstands today, shows that 61 percent of teens admit to risky
habits. Of that 61 percent, 46 percent say that they text message
driving and 51 percent talk on cell phones while driving. The research,
conducted in April, was a survey of more than 1,000 16- and 17-year-old
"Motor vehicle crashes
are the number one killer of teens claiming more
than 6,000 15- to 20-year-olds each year," said Beth Mosher,
public affairs for AAA Chicago. "Inexperience behind the wheel
poor decision-making ability make it even more important for teens
focused when driving. Their attention should not be divided among
friends and the road."
Other teens in the vehicle
can be a major distraction for teen drivers,
and driver distraction is a factor in 25-50 percent of all crashes.
percent of teen respondents said that they drive with their friends
The research also reveals
that 40 percent of teens exceed the speed
limit by 10 miles per hour or more while driving, and 11 percent
admit to drinking or using other drugs before getting behind the
"Teens love to text,
talk on their cell phones and hang out with their
friends," said Seventeen Editor-in-Chief Ann Shoket. "But
when you mix
those social activities with young, inexperienced drivers, the results
dangerous and in many cases fatal. As the country's largest teen
we want to educate teens about reckless behavior behind the wheel
them understand the scary consequences."
"Novice young drivers
need experience to gain the proficiency that will
help to keep them safe on the road," said Mosher. "It's
critical for teens
to drive in the safest environment for at least the first six months
Making the driving experience
safer for teens would include ensuring
that they drive during daylight hours, on familiar roads and without
passengers. Parents can be positive role models by exhibiting good
skills and behavior such as obeying speed limits, being courteous
drivers, and avoiding the use of electronic devices while driving.
Parents should also discuss
teen car crashes and how to prevent them,
according to AAA. Conversations with teens can begin with topics
parents are already familiar with, such as the importance of wearing
belt, and move into the hazards of driving at night, while on a
or with teen passengers. Entering into a parent-teen driving agreement
be a helpful way to start the dialogue.
For more information
on parent-teen driving agreements or on keeping
teens safer on the road, log on to http://www.AAA.com/publicaffairs.
find a driving school near you, or to find out more about driving
go to http://www.AAA.com.
Seventeen reaches more
than 13 million readers every month and is
today's largest selling teen beauty and fashion magazine. Seventeen
published by Hearst Magazines, a unit of Hearst Corporation
and one of the world's largest publishers of
monthly magazines, with a total of 19 U.S. titles and nearly 200
international editions. Hearst Magazines reaches more adults in
than any other publisher of monthly magazines (73.4 million according
MRI, fall 2006). The company also publishes 19 magazines in the
Kingdom through its wholly owned subsidiary, The National Magazine
AAA Chicago has represented
roadway interests for motorists and
pedestrians and serves as a leading advocate for various traffic
travel-related issues for more than a century.
For more information
on any aspect of AAA Chicago's breadth of service
including AAA's home, auto and life insurance products; travel-related
services, AAA's Show Your Card & Save program; and/or any AAA
service including emergency roadside assistance, please visit our
or call us toll-free at 1-866-YOUR-AAA (968-7222).
Source: AAA Chicago