Highway Safety: 11 Teens Die Every Day Due to Texting While Driving

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Dr. Ryan Madigan, psychologist at Boston University, breaks down new study that shows teens who text and drive are more likely to exhibit other dangerous behaviors (Published Saturday, Feb 1, 2014)

    (NECN) - Motor vehicle homicide is the leading cause of death for kids 16 to 19 years old. The Institute for Highway Safety reports 11 teens die every day due to texting while driving. Now, a new study shows teens who text and drive are more likely to exhibit other dangerous behaviors.

    Here with insight is Doctor Ryan Madigan, a psychologist at Boston University's Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders.

    2011 CDC STUDY:
    45-percent of 16 and older admitted to texting while driving
    Teens who texted while driving were five times more likely to drink and drive
    Teens who texted while driver were less likely to wear a seat belt

    Texting while driving is the same as driving after four beers and makes you 23 times more likely to crash, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.
    What is going on with the teen brain?

    “It is perplexing and very, very worrisome. I think what we see with teen texting is representative of the process that we see in adolescents in general, which is poor impulse control and high risk taking behaviors,” he says.

    Dr. Madigan says we see this risk taking behavior, this impulsivity, across the board.

    He says teens are capable of thinking what the consequences are, but they don’t stop to think before acting.

    What can parents do?

    Dr. Madigan says it’s important for parents to teach their kids before they act to weigh the consequences and stop and think. He also says a lock screen note of, is this text worth a car accident, serves as a great reminder to teens.

    Watch the attached video for more.