It is a validated fear: Teens make dangerous and irresponsible decisions. Sure, it is worrying if a teen chooses to try smoking. It is worrying if a teen decides not to do his homework because his video games were just too tempting the night before.

It is alarming, however, if a teen decides to engage in a deadly habit while behind the wheel of a vehicle. The results of the most recent survey regarding teens’ behaviors support people’s fears that teens don’t truly understand how texting and driving is a dangerous habit that kills people on a regular basis in Pennsylvania and beyond.

According to the survey of nearly 8,000 high school students, about 40 percent of them admit to texting and driving within the 30 days leading up to the survey. Teens are inexperienced drivers, already more likely to make bad driving decisions. They do not need another reason to make a driving mistake. Their tendencies to make risky choices and to be addicted to their cell phones combine to make for a high likelihood of distracted driving accidents.

Research shows that texting while driving increases the chance of a crash by more than 23 times. Some are confident in saying that distracted driving is more dangerous than drunk driving. While teens don’t have legal access to alcohol, they do have easy access to their phones.

Figuring out how to combat distracted driving has become a top priority for traffic safety critics and lawmakers throughout the country. Not even laws always make a difference, especially when they are relatively new within a society.

Traffic accidents caused by cell phone distraction will continue. Victims will get hurt and others will die. Those impacted by a distracted driver should discuss their legal options with a car accident lawyer.

Source: Global Post, “Texting and driving: over 40% of teens do it, says study,” Alexander Besant, May 5, 2013