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Study Finds Teens Continue To Text While Driving, Despite Dangers


Teens point to parental pressures as excuse to text and drive, claiming parents encourage a FOMO mentality by requiring prompt responses.

Teens are struggling to balance social, parental and academic demands. Unfortunately, this group of young adults may not be managing these demands wisely. According to a recent study, teens are multitasking in dangerous ways, including checking texts and social media while operating vehicles.

More on the study

The study, put out by Liberty Mutual Insurance and the non-profit group Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), reviewed data compiled from 1,622 juniors and seniors from high schools across the country. These teens report the “Fear of Missing Out” (FOMO) is responsible for propagating the “always-on” lifestyle. This lifestyle is not just exhausting, but also dangerous. Researchers with the study found that FOMO has led to deadly distracted driving crashes.

The study found teens point to meeting parental expectations as the biggest pressure to text while drive. SADD reports that 55 percent of teens partook in texting while driving in order to update their parents. In addition, 19 percent of participants stated that they believe their parents expect a text response within one minute and an additional 25 percent stated they believe their parents expect a response within at least five minutes, even while driving. In contrast, 58 percent of parents responded that they did not have expectations on response time from their teens. This data shows that families can benefit from open discussions on expectations, with an emphasis on the expectation that teens not use their Smartphones while driving.

Teens also reported checking their phones when receiving notifications from apps. The most popular apps in use while driving include Snapchat with 38 percent, Instagram at 20 percent, Twitter at 17 percent and Facebook at 12 percent.

It is important to note that teens are not the only ones who battle FOMO pressure. The researchers also surveyed 1,000 parents of high school parents. Adults also struggle with FOMO, often manifested in a need to reply to a boss’s email or touch base with a client. This “always-on” lifestyle translates to additional dangers, for both adults and teens, in the form of drowsy driving. The study also found that over half the teens who responded reported falling asleep while driving. Lake of sleep was linked to busy schedule due to extracurricular involvement and general school needs at 43 percent, completing homework at 32 percent and social activities at 24 percent.

Remedies available for victims

These behaviors can result in accidents, making the road dangerous for occupants of other vehicles. In these instances, compensation may be available to help cover the costs associated with the crash. Contact an experienced driving accidents lawyer to discuss the details of your case and better ensure a more favorable outcome.