NORFOLK -- A new survey shows nearly half of teens drivers admit they text behind the wheel.
The survey by AT&T of teenagers shows 97% of them know that texting while driving is dangerous but they or their friends do it anyway. 75% reported their friends text while driving.
The April 13-22 survey reached 1,200 teenagers ages 15 to 19. 736 interviews were done with Caucasian teens, 202 African-American teens and 203 Hispanic teens. All of the teens have a driver's license or a learner's permit and a cell or smartphone that can send and receive text messages.
The margin of error for the survey is +/- 3.1%.
Peer Pressure: Almost all teens (89 percent) expect a reply to a text or email within five minutes or less.
'Gateway' Dangers: 70 percent of teens believe texting while stopped at a red light is dangerous. Still, 60 percent of teens admit to texting at a red light and 73 percent admit to glancing at their phone at a red light.
Learning by Example: According to 77 percent of teens, adults tell kids not to text while driving yet adults do it themselves 'all the time.'
Minority Disparities: Hispanic teens (54 percent) are more likely to admit to the practice of texting while driving than Caucasian (41 percent) and African-American (42 percent) teens.
What Would Help: 89 percent of surveyed teens said a phone app to prevent texting & driving would be an effective way to get them or their friends to stop texting and driving.
Of course, AT&T has created an app for that. DriveModeTM provides a customizable auto-reply message notifying friends that the user is driving and will respond when it is safe.