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Teens Texting While Driving

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Updated: 11/28/2007 5:17 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- When it comes to drinking and driving, you know to "just say no." But what about driving while texting?

Studies say it is the biggest distraction for teen drivers these days, and only one state, Washington, has laws against it.

Whether it's a Blackberry or any of the other latest texting toys, they all could be potentially deadly to your kids behind the wheel.

It's called "DWT," or driving while texting and believe it or not, studies exist showing it's even worse than a DUI.

According to The New York Times, more than 160 billion texts were sent last year alone. No one knows how many of those were sent while people were behind the wheel, but according to Students Against Destructive Decisions and an insurance company, texting behind the wheel was the number one teen distraction. In fact, it even outweighed alcohol.

We wanted to put the texting trouble to the test. Four Ed White students, split into two teams of two, agreed to go out on a closed driver's course, and let's just say the course was no piece of cake.

Erik and Mary were the first team and while Mary seemed comfortable driving the course normally, she showed clear signs of trouble almost hitting a stop sign while attempting to text and drive.

Raney and Kevin, a big texter, were team two. Kevin looked OK on the course even while texting. But he had trouble when his passenger intentionally tried to distract him.

Statistics show almost half of the crash deaths involving 16-year-olds in 2003 occurred when the drivers had teen passengers. The same statistics from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety show 16 and 17-year-old driver death rates increase with each additional passenger.

In the end, both teams hit a total of four cones, bumped two more and blew through two stop signs. Both teams said they learned a valuable lesson about texting and distractions while driving.

Click the video above to watch the teens in action.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Action News Jacksonville

Diane G - 3/13/2012 6:57 AM
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I am shocked that Florida lawmakers do not see a need to pass a bill to ban texting while driving. It is only a matter of time until one of their own loved ones are injured or killedin a motor vehicle accident caused by a driver texting while driving. Once again, Florida comes up a day late and a dollar short, as my dad used to say.
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