Study: Teens don't consider texting while driving a danger

A new survey shows teenagers think texting while driving is not as dangerous as driving drunk.

While 55 percent of 14- to 17-year-olds who are aspiring or current drivers think they could be killed if they drink and drive, only 36 percent feel the same about texting and driving.

The survey of about 700 teens by Harris Interactive for State Farm Insurance also shows that fewer teenagers believe they could get into an accident while texting and driving when compared with how many believe they could crash if driving under the influence.

Teens who have actually texted while driving are more skeptical of getting into a wreck than those who have not, the survey showed.

"We have a lot of catching up to do when it comes to helping teens understand that texting while driving can be every bit as dangerous as drinking while driving. It's an awareness gap that must be addressed," said Laurette Stiles, vice president of strategic resources at State Farm.

In a 2008 study by the United Kingdom's Transport Research Laboratory, reaction time of drivers 17 to 24 was reduced by 35 percent when typing a text message, compared with 12 percent when driving after consuming enough alcohol to be considered drunk.

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