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Diego Avila
Diego Avila
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CDC figures are in: about half of high school upperclassmen text and drive

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Want some cold hard facts on texting and driving when it comes to teens? The numbers are sobering.

According to the Center for Disease Control, 58% of high school seniors admitted that they have texted or emailed while driving in the past month. About 43% of juniors conceded the same. These numbers are pretty staggering, but frankly, I'm not that surprised.

What's more astonishing is that being involved in a collision due to distracted driving isn't even necessarily a surefire way to stop a teen from doing it again.

Ray LaHood, Secretary of Transportation, called texting and cellphone use behind the wheel a "national epidemic." While these figures are limited to teens, I'm sure the numbers are also high for those in their 20s and 30s. The data for teens was derived from a national questionnaire specific to risky behavior in America's youth. That about half of high school upperclassmen admit to this is underscored by the fact that teens view it as an ubiquitous, accepted behavior.

For example, take the story of Dylan Young, an 18 year old who was highlighted in the Associated Press story on this topic. Dylan was in a fender bender while texting. Nevertheless, he still admitted that he continues to text while driving even after his fender bender. His rationale apparently seemed to be that everybody does it.

That level of acceptance is what permits 16% of all teen motor vehicle deaths to be caused by texting.