Teenagers and Distracted Driving
Teenagers Texting While Driving
It is not uncommon for younger drivers to ignore restrictions on cell phone use. Research done by independent groups of North Carolina's cell phone ban shows that the law had little effect on teenage cell phone use while driving. Under the state law, drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from using any mobile device while behind the wheel. However, data taken before and after the law was enacted shows that the percentage of teen drivers using cell phones actually increased from 11 to 12%. In South Carolina, where a similar law was instituted, usage remained stable at 13%. Neither state showed an increase in hands-free cell phone use. Of these observations, 2% were reported to be dialing or texting while 9% were engaged in a conversation.
The study compiled these observations with phone surveys of various parents and teens. In the surveys following the law's enactment, only two-thirds of the children were even aware of the law, and only 40% of parents. 75% of teenagers approved the law, compared to 95 percent of adults. According to the survey, the percentage of teenagers who admitted to using a cell phone while driving declined. However, nearly half of those surveyed admitted to using cell phones prior to the restriction. Only a small percentage of teenagers and parents believed the law was being properly enforced.
Statistics on Teenage Driving
Statistically teenagers are the most likely demographic to be involved in a car accident. This fact combined with the elevated risk caused by cell phone usage has led to states enacting bans. Moreover, some research has demonstrated that teenagers are more likely to use cell phones than adult drivers, further exacerbating the potential for a crash. There are even laws that place restrictions on driving at night and the number of passengers in a vehicle for newly licensed individuals, with cell phone bans often being included in the drafting of these laws.