How Many Teens Are Texting & Driving? The Numbers Are Alarming

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Texting and driving is always at the forefront of PSAs, but how often does it actually happen? A survey of Toronto students proves we do have something to worry about when it comes to teens and their phones.

According to the results, for 10-12th graders in Toronto, more than 1 in 3 licensed drivers admit to texting and driving at least once in the past year. For high school seniors, the number is even higher — 46 percent! That means nearly half of teen drivers are looking at their phone instead of the road, which is way too many.

Although these stats are for Canadian students, we bet the U.S. numbers aren't far behind.

After all, our recent TeenBeing posts discuss how more teens are texting and driving than smoking cigarettes, and how millennials value their phones more than their toothbrushes.

So what can we do about this problem? First, make sure your own behavior is in check. Parents influence their kids more than they may think: 48% of young drivers have seen their parents drive while talking on the phone and 15% have seen them text.

When starting a conversation with your teen, keep these stats from textinganddrivingsafety.com in mind:

 Texting while driving is equivalent to getting behind the wheel after drinking four beers.

Texting while driving causes 1.6 million accidents per year — and 11 teen deaths every day.

Sending a text message makes a car crash 23 times more likely.

In 2011, 23 percent of car accidents — or 1.3 million — involved cellphones.

If you're still stumped about how to get the talking started, consider using DoSomething.org's thumb socks — a fun campaign that also generates a very important discussion among teens.

Did you know there's a health and well-being magazine for teens? Subscribe to Choices, and share these stories about phones with your teens, including "RU 2 RUDE 2 B ONLINE?" and "Which one of them is a cyberbully?"!