News Local/State

From Texting To Gaming: Teen Drivers Are Distracted


Teenagers are texting while behind the wheel, despite the law prohibiting it.  And that's not all they're doing. 

The survey from State Farm Insurance found 80 percent of teens say they use their smartphones while driving. Along with sending text messages, they're using the phone for other purposes, including playing games.

"It really is scary, some of the things kids are doing," said Missy Dundov of State Farm. "They're gaming. They're taking pictures and taking video. When we asked them why are they doing that, they said 'Well I saw something interesting I wanted to share."

Other findings show the majority of teens understand using smartphones while driving is dangerous but say it's a difficult habit to break. Teens are also more likely to engage in the behavior if they have their own car, rather than sharing a family vehicle.

Dundov says the survey indicates those who drive distracted also are more likely to speed, drive under the influence and fail to wear a seatbelt. 

"Distracted driving is nothing new, but the level of it has changed. The electronics people have in their car. Maybe it's not their phone. Even if they have a Bluetooth, that can be distracting," said Dundov.  

She added teens often pick up driving habits from parents.