Study shows teens texting while driving increasing - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Study shows teens texting while driving increasing

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BEAUFORT CO., SC (WTOC) -

A new government released claims American teens are smoking less, drinking less and fighting less, but they're doing more texting behind the wheel and spending too much time on video games and computers.

But does the study hold true with teens in the Savannah area?

"A lot of them do text behind the wheel, but a lot smoke, too," said Nic Frost.

"I try to pay attention to what is going on the road and other people," said Matt Frost.

Richard Ferreira, owner of One Stop Driving and DUI, said the results of the study are not surprising.

"Drinking has gone down," he said. "That is a good thing. I think there was a push to end that kind of behavior and until there is that same kind of push and same kind of zero tolerance, then it's not going to go down."

In fact, Ferreira tries to emphasize the startling statistics in his distracted driving courses.

"The average text is 4.6 seconds," he said. "When you are traveling at highway speeds down the road, they don't realize they are doing 100-113 feet per second, and that average text can put you way down the road. They learn a person that often texts is out of their lane as much as ten percent of the time."

For parents, this is very worrisome as teens are out of school and are on the roads more.

"I think it is definitely true," said Sarah Ward. "I always see people texting behind the wheel, especially during the summer months and being out of school. You see a lot of it. All they do is stay on their phone."

"It's great that they are not smoking and drinking as much, but there is always change so now we have to pay attention to texting, and all of the dangers associated with it," said Colleen Hanlon.

The government study also found most forms of drug use, weapons use and risky sex are also down. It also found teens are wearing bicycle helmets and seat belts more, too.

South Carolina just recently passed a no texting and driving law, and in Georgia, texting while driving is against the law. Teens under the age of 18 are not allowed to use electronic devices in the state of Georgia, with first offenders being fined $150. Any additional charges could lead to losing your license.

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