The Parent Report: Distracted Teen Drivers

BOSTON (CBS) – A new study suggests teenagers are not getting the message about the dangers of texting while driving.

[Audio http://cbsboston.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/january-19-2010-the-parent-report.mp3|titles=Distracted Teen Drivers|artists=Doug Cope]

While fewer Americans overall are dying in car crashes connected to driver distraction, there’s still a problem with getting the message out to teen drivers that texting and driving don’t mix. David Beigie of State Farm Insurance says they interviewed teens about their views of the different dangers behind the wheel.

Beigie says teens don’t realize the serious distraction texting can be.

Officials say nearly 5,500 people died last year in crashes that were reported to have involved drivers distracted by cell phones, mobile devices or something else. That’s down 6% from the previous year. But U.S.Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says distracted driving is still a problem of epidemic proportion and says police must do more to enforce existing laws.

Beigie says insurers continue to work on the problem, but more needs to be done to get the word out.

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