5 On Your Side

Texting behind wheel No. 1 killer of teens

Posted May 13, 2013
Updated May 14, 2013

— Texting while driving has surpassed drunken driving as the top cause of teenage deaths on U.S. roads, according to a new study.

The study by Cohen Children's Medical Center in New York found that more than 3,000 teens die each year as a result of crashes caused by sending text messages while behind the wheel, and another 300,000 are injured in such wrecks.

About 2,700 teens are killed as a result of drunken driving crashes.

Previous studies have shown that people sending text messages while driving are 23 times more likely to crash.

Texting while driving is illegal in North Carolina, but the Cohen Children's Medical Center study found that such restrictions are routinely flouted. Half of the students surveyed for the study admitted they text while driving, including 57 percent of the boys who live in states with no-texting laws.


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  • 678devilish May 15, 2013

    they have the right to detain you and hold your phone until a search warrant is obtained.


    I agree with your comment. To save a life, then officers should start doing this...get a warrant after detaining them.

  • 678devilish May 15, 2013

    I agree with this story completely. Texting is a strong factor in our young people losing their life so early. When will they ever learn. I don't believe there is that much talking in the world. If you have to text, then pull over on the side of the road and then do so. Be safe!

  • sandiegom22 May 15, 2013

    "Try *proving* they are truly texting at the exact moment the police officer saw them without a warrant to search their cell phone or get a copy of their texting activity from the provider." Black HelicoptersNFood Insurance

    I talked to a lawyer about this. They do technically have to have a search warrant to look at your phone. If you don't let them check it they have the right to detain you and hold your phone until a search warrant is obtained.

  • pooodaddy May 15, 2013

    If the RPD would get off their cell phones then maybe they would catch some of these offenders. Sadly every cop I pass is talking on the phone. I don't even care how fast I'm going anymore cause they're too busy gabbing away.

  • RustyDawg May 15, 2013

    Yet the NTSB wants to drop the blood alcohol level for DWIs. How about we drop cell phones and any other "hand held" electronic device from the driver's area? They should be full bore on this just like they were about seat belts back in the day. No compliance, no federal highway funds. That is the only way of getting our roads back. I do agree with one other comment too. Adults are just as guilty as the kids. I think the fact that they believe they have more driving experience and can get away with it makes them even more dangerous. Time for the General Assembly to step up and do something for the safety of the citizens of NC and ban hand held cell phones.

  • Obamacare survives May 15, 2013

    How many of you are writing comments here while driving? Be honest please.

  • kermit60 May 15, 2013

    Make the penalty the same as DUI. After the accident, check phone records and if they show texting was a factor then they should be treated the same. Just like DUI the accidents they cause usually involves an innocent person just like people reading this.

  • LocalYokel May 15, 2013

    I see plenty of drivers texting and if I see them then I know the Raleigh PD sees them too. Texting while driving isn't just bad for the texter, it's bad for who they wreck into and who is in their car.

    I guess the RPD has more important issues to pursue such as registration violations and other paper tiger violations.

  • Obamacare survives May 15, 2013

    Time for cell phone manufacturers to use the built in GPS on each phone to determine the rate of speed the device is traveling inside a vehicle. Anything 10 mph or above disables texting on the device, whether the person is driving or not. Simple and will save lives.

  • btneast May 15, 2013

    I agree that we should not be texting. However, if you look at the commercials for most of the newer cars, especially the high end ones, you will see that most of them are equipped with all kinds of gadgets

    Yep, its not just texting, its using a smart phone in general. Could be reading/sending email, reading/programming gps, selecting songs, starting/stopping audio book, etc, etc....whether it be on your smart phone or onboard car electronics. I think it affects teens more because they don't have the experience to do that stuff and drive at the same time. They don't have the depth of experience to recover quickly from potential crashes when they look up from the phone.