A teenager texting behind the wheel is dangerous enough. But, a new study finds teens who text while driving may also be more likely to engage in other risky behaviors behind the wheel.
Dr. Kate Eshleman did not take part in the study but is a child psychologist at Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital. "It’s not surprising that kids are doing it fairly often. Kids also think they’re invincible. They don’t necessarily think through the risks and even if they think there is a risk they think it’s not going to happen to them", she says.
Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control surveyed more than 85-hundred teenagers. Nearly half of them reported texting while driving within the past 30 days. These students were also more likely to engage in additional risky motor vehicle behaviors like: drinking and driving, riding with a driver who had been drinking, and not always wearing a seatbelt.
Researchers say the behavior may place themselves, their passengers, and others on the road at an increased risk for a crash.
Dr. Eshleman agrees and says it’s important for parents to set a good example. "I think the most important way is model good behavior. If you don’t want your kids to text while driving or you want them to wear their seatbelt- make sure you’re doing the same thing."
Complete findings for this study are in the journal "Pediatrics."