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Teens Say Drinking and Driving Riskier Than Texting and Driving, Survey Finds

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A new survey finds U.S. teens think drinking and driving is riskier than texting and driving, despite research that indicates they can be equally dangerous.

The State Farm survey included 652 teens ages 14 to 17. Of the teens who intend to have or already have a driver’s license, 57 percent strongly agree that regularly drinking while driving eventually would be deadly, while 35 percent strongly agreed that if they regularly text and drive they will be killed someday.

Among teens with a driver’s license, 57 percent admitted to texting while driving, UPI reports.

The adolescents who said they did not text while driving were much more likely to report having frequent conversations with their parents about safe driving, the article notes.

Chris Mullen, Director of Technology Research at State Farm, said research indicates the  consequences of texting while driving can be as dangerous as drunk driving.

Teens who refrained from texting while driving were much more likely to report having frequent talks with their parents about safe driving. Once teenagers receive their license, there is a sharp dropoff in conversations between parents and teens about driving, the survey shows.

“The conversation should not end when teens get their license,” Mullen said in a news release. “Through this survey and other teen driver research, we know that ongoing parental involvement in the learning process is key to keeping teen drivers safe behind the wheel.”

The results of the survey are virtually unchanged from a similar survey conducted in 2010.

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