Teens who text while driving are now more of a road hazard than those who drink and get behind the wheel, a new study reveals.
Researchers at Cohen Children's Medical Center in New York say there are more than 3,000 teen deaths nationwide each year from texting and at least 300,000 injuries.
Those staggering figures are well above the number of teenagers who are killed or injured while drinking and driving, with 2,700 dying as a result of alcohol-related crashes and 282,000 injured.
According to Newsday
, Cohen researchers found that among 8,947 teens aged 15-18, 49 percent of boys and 45 percent of girls admitted to texting while driving.
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"A person who is texting can be as impaired as a driver who is legally drunk," Cohen's Dr. Andrew Adesman told the newspaper.
It appears that laws that have been passed in some states to curb the practice aren't working.
"When we compared states where there are no laws in effect and states where there are laws on the books, we found there was no difference in their responses. Clearly, the laws are not effective," Adesman said.
He said texting while driving is just as risky as other frowned-on teen activities, such as not using a seat belt, binge drinking, drug and tobacco use, unsafe sex, and tanning machines.
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