Almost 50% of Teens in Grade 12 Admit to Texting While Driving: Survey

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The 2013 Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey (OSDUHS), a biannual study administered for the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) has revealed texting while driving remains an issue among Ontario teens, reports the CBC.

Roughly 108,000 young drivers were surveyed and admitted they had texted while driving in the past year. Over one-third of licensed drivers in Grades 10-12 admitted to texting while driving, with the number jumping to 46% for those in Grade 12:

“We asked about texting while driving because research shows that this is a very hazardous behaviour,” said CAMH senior scientist Dr. Robert Mann. “We were surprised to find that so many young people are taking this risk.”

Other survey highlights noted over 80 percent of students visited social media sites everyday, with 10 percent consuming more than five hours per day on social networks.

Also, 79 percent of cyclists in this age group admitted they do not always wear a helmet while 53 percent stated they rarely or never put one on.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out texting while driving isn’t limited to just teenagers—you can spot people of all ages everyday looking down at their crotches while driving.

The issue is trying to educate new drivers that distracted driving is now the number one cause of death on the roads in Ontario and beyond, which can also net you a $280 fine.

Even using Siri to read and respond to messages or glancing at your Pebble can be a distraction while driving. It’s hard to resist when people are addicted to social networks like Twitter and Facebook and want to consume information in real-time.

Have you texted while driving? What do you do with your smartphone while you’re on the road?