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IVP & Safe States News: Motor Vehicle & Passenger Safety

Texting/Emailing While Driving Among High School Students in 35 States, United States, 2015

Friday, October 5, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Julie Alonso
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Texting/Emailing While Driving Among High School Students in 35 States, United States, 2015

The study, a collaboration between CDC and researchers at The Ohio State University and Nationwide Children’s Hospital, used self-reported data from over 100,000 students in 35 states who participated in the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) and who reported driving at least once during the 30 days before taking the survey.


This study reports that 38% of students admitted to texting while driving at least once in the previous month. Texting while driving varied by more than two-fold across states, from a low of 26% to a high of 64%. Students who reported drinking and driving were almost twice as likely to text while driving as students who did not. Students who infrequently wore seatbelts were 21% more likely to text while driving than students who were frequent seatbelt users. The study also showed that the likelihood of texting while driving increased substantially with age.


Texting while driving was more prevalent in states with a lower minimum learner’s permit age and in states where a larger percentage of students drove. These findings suggest that contextual factors related to state-level licensing policy and other social and cultural conditions that influence adolescent driving patterns likely also influence a teen’s texting while driving behavior. The results of this study may raise awareness of the need for new strategies to reduce texting while driving among adolescent drivers, particularly in states where adolescents begin driving at younger ages.


Read the Study

Learn more about teen driver safety on our website:



CDC and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) also have information about distracted driving:



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