New Survey Explores How to Prevent Teens From Texting and Driving

There is little doubt that texting behind the wheel is a serious safety concern. According to the National Safety Council, at least 200,000 car crashes each year involve drivers who are texting. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in 2010, 3092 people were killed in car accidents involving a distracted driver.

While motorists of any age can create a dangerous situation by texting behind the wheel, the problem is especially prevalent among teens. Surveys have found that 34 percent of teenage motorists say they have texted while driving, compared to 27 percent of adults.

But, there are ways to prevent teenagers from texting behind the wheel. In a new survey of teen attitudes, nationwide insurer State Farm attempted to find out the most effective ways to curb teenage texting.

Being In a Texting While Driving Crash Most Powerful Deterrent

State Farm commissioned Harris Interactive to conduct the recent survey. In the month of July, Harris telephoned 650 teenagers ages 14 to 18 and asked what it would take to keep them from texting while driving.

According to the teenagers surveyed, the single most effective way to stop them from texting and driving is for them to actually be in a crash caused by texting; 96 percent of the survey's participants said this would make them stop texting and driving. The second most effective ways of getting teens to stop texting behind the wheel was knowing someone who had been in a car crash caused by texting, followed closely in third place by having a "close call" while texting and driving.

While there is little doubt that being in a car accident can be a powerful event, at that point the damage has already been done. Fortunately, teens did report other motivational factors could influence their texting habits, albeit to a lesser degree. Higher penalties for texting while driving and more enforcement of texting and driving laws came in at 84 and 83 percent, respectively. Currently, the penalty for texting and driving in California is only $20 for a first offense (although the Los Angeles Times reports that after court costs and other penalties, the true cost is $76). Getting more facts and information also appeared to be effective for some teens, but the numbers were substantially lower: for example, just 65 percent of teens said that hearing information from parents or guardians would cause them to stop texting and driving.

Hurt in a Texting Accident? Get the Compensation You Deserve

As the new survey shows, there are many ways to get teens off their phones and focused on the road. Unfortunately, the most effective only work after the damage has already been done.

It is important to teach teenagers to be safe with their cell phones while driving. But when the learning curve is a stretch of blacktop, other innocent motorists shouldn't have to pay the price. If you have been injured in a car accident that involved texting, you deserve compensation from the at-fault driver's insurer. Talk to a San Diego car accident attorney today for help getting the full amount you are entitled to.