Study: teens who text while driving might engage in other risky behaviors

By: Sarah Moon
By: Sarah Moon

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Teens who text while driving are more likely to take part in other risky behaviors.

A study released Monday from the American Academy of Pediatrics said nearly 45% of teens text while driving.

Some teens say they know texting and driving, can be deadly.

“I think it’s a really bad idea to put your life at risk, and to put others lives at risk,” said Bekah Risch.

The study found teens who texted while driving daily were more than 40% more likely to not always wear a seat belt a seat belt while riding in a car.

It also found teens were about five times more likely to drive after they had been drinking.

Lieutenant Patrick Hogan said the numbers aren’t surprising.

“Distracted driving amongst teens is always an issue, and we need to stay on top it,” said Hogan.

“It’s not safe, my parents told me I shouldn’t do it, and I just I don’t,” said Michael Mutch.

Some teens said it would make them nervous if they were riding in a car with a driver who was texting.

“I tell them to stop, because I don’t want to be put in that situation where they’re texting, and not focusing on the road,” said Lydia Shriver.

If you’re caught texting while driving in La Crosse, the fine is about $100.

However, the fine is about $190 in the state of Wisconsin if issued by a non-municipality.

Fred Stair with F.C. Stair School of Driving said teens should keep their phones out of the car.

“With young people the phones have no place in the car. I know some parents want to keep tabs on their young people. Something to this effect, but really it’s a toy for kids,” said Stair.

He also said it’s important for parents to set a good example for teens about safe driving practices.

The study also found teens were more likely to text when they got older.

About 33% 16-year-olds text, and about 58 % of teens 18 or older text.

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