Study: Teens know it’s bad to text and drive, do it anyways (no way!)

Study: Teens know its bad to text and drive, do it anyways (no way!)

There are many a thing we shouldn’t be doing while driving: Reading, smoking, drinking, and “adult activities” (it had to be said) are but a few on top of the no-no list. Some are stupid, some are illegal, and all are dangerously distracting. And while the aforementioned driving-don’ts make perfect sense for most drivers, one demographic seem to find them much more difficult to steer clear of, especially when it comes to driving and using their handheld devices.

According to a national survey conducted by Consumer Reports National Research Center, nearly half of all teenagers in the past 30 days have operated distracting, and in some states illegal, smartphones or devices while driving. Dominating the market for this type of activity, 30 percent admitted to texting, 8 percent confessed to using smartphone apps, while 7 percent fessed up to accessing social media websites like Twitter and Facebook. Perhaps least shocking of all is that a full 65 percent of those surveyed acknowledged distracted driving activities such as talking on the phone to be “dangerous.”

Of course, getting these free-spirited teen drivers to acknowledge their behavior as dangerous is only half the battle – getting them to stop is the other. According to Consumer Reports, the best strategy so far has been found in utilizing informative and clever public service announcements aimed specifically towards the youth. More than 60 percent of respondents said they were influenced to stop or alter their distracted driving behaviors by reading or hearing about the problem. Additionally, while some states have undertaken legal provisions to ban smartphone use while operating an automobile, only 40 percent claimed to show a positive reaction toward such laws. Even less effective were families who enacted smartphone bans for their teens, with only 30 percent willing to listen to their parents’ decree.

Perhaps least surprising, though, were the numbers associated with positive peer pressure. The study found that almost 50 percent said they were more likely to put down the phone and curb their dangerous driving habits when in the car with a friend. Consumer Reports notes that this could very well have been due to nearly half of respondents being asked by passengers in their car to not use their phones while driving.

But while today’s teens continue the oh-so-shocking trend of disregarding the rules set forth by society and their parents, findings from the study found that parents, unsurprisingly, have a bigger influence in shaping their children’s driving habits than they realize. Consumer Reports says that almost 48 percent of the young drivers surveyed had seen their parents talk and drive, while another 15 percent have caught them texting.

So, Mom and Dad, next time you reach for your iPhone while driving in the car with your kids, think of what example you might be setting.

[Image Credit: imageegami/ Shutterstock]

Product Review

If price is top of mind, Samsung’s Galaxy S10e is the flagship phone to buy

Samsung’s Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus are joined with a new entry into the Galaxy S family -- the Galaxy S10e. It costs a little more than the original price of the Galaxy S9, but it’s meant to be the more affordable phone compared to the…
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix right now (February 2019)

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Home Theater

Apple is arming up to redefine TV just like it did the phone

Curious about what Apple's answer to Netflix will be? Us too. So we combed through some patents, and looked at the landscape, to come up with a bold prediction: Apple's streaming service will be way bigger than anyone thinks.

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.

Mamma mia! Alfa Romeo will unveil a new model at the Geneva Auto Show

Alfa Romeo told Digital Trends it will unveil a new model at the 2019 Geneva Auto Show. It stopped short of revealing what it has in store, but rumors claim it will be a crossover positioned below the Stelvio.

Citroën says you could drive its tiny Ami One electric car without a license

Citroën's Ami One concept car is an electric vehicle that's as cute as it is compact. The miniature motor only has a top speed of 28 mph, so the French automaker imagines it as a shareable runaround for short drives.

Arizona city slammed with $10M lawsuit over fatal Uber autonomous car accident

The family of Elaine Herzberg, the woman struck and killed by one of Uber's self-driving prototypes, has filed a $10 million lawsuit against the city of Tempe, Arizona. They claim Herzberg jaywalked because she was confused by a brick…

Mercedes lets the sun shine in one last time with SLC Final Edition convertible

The Mercedes-Benz SLC convertible sports car is going out of production. Launched in 1996 as the SLK, the model has been a fixture in the Mercedes-Benz lineup across three generations.

Aston Martin’s next hypercar, due in 2021, will pack a hybrid powertrain punch

Aston Martin will follow up the Valkyrie and Valkyrie AMR Pro with a new hypercar, code-named Project 003. The car will debut in 2021, with production limited to 500 units worldwide.

Apple opens up about its self-driving car program in letter to NHTSA

Apple has traditionally kept details about its self-driving car technology under wraps, but it has revealed details about the program in a rare instance of openness. The company takes safety seriously.

Tesla will release fully self-driving cars in 2019 — with a big asterisk

Tesla reaffirmed its goal of releasing a fully self-driving car by the end of 2019, but it warned the system won't work perfectly 100 percent of the time. Convincing regulators that it's safe to use will require some effort, too.

Consumer Reports bumps the Tesla Model 3 off of its list of recommended models

The Tesla Model 3 is one of the six new cars that have lost their coveted Recommended rating from Consumer Reports over reliability concerns. In 2018, Model 3 owners reported body trim falling off and problems with the car's glass.

Lyft’s Shared Saver service offers cheaper rides, but you’ll have to walk a little

Lyft has launched a new ride option called Shared Saver that offers cheaper rides if you're willing to walk a little. Shared Saver designates a nearby pick-up point and drops you off a short distance from your final destination.

Has Apple rebooted its self-driving car program to develop autonomous vans?

The on-again, off-again Apple car is back on track, but it's not a sedan or a hatchback. It will arrive as an electric, autonomous passenger-carrying van, according to a recent report.