More than half of teen drivers in Connecticut either talk, or text, on their phones while driving, a new survey released this week said.
According to the Department of Public Health (DPH), 53 percent of teen drivers in said they talked on a cell phone at least once in the month before taking the 2011 Connecticut School Health Survey, which was administered to high school students across the state.
In the same survey, 51 percent of teens admitted to texting or emailing at least once, the DPH said. Also, 10 percent of high school students rarely or never wore a seat belt as a passenger, and 1-of-4 students reported being a passenger of someone who had been drinking alcohol, the report stated.
One out of every 10 high school seniors reported drinking and driving in the past month, the survey detailed.
Youths ages 16 to 19 are four times more likely to get into an accident when compared to older drivers, the state said.
“The school health survey findings show that many of our young drivers engage in behaviors that put them at even greater risk when they get behind the wheel,” said DPH Commissioner Dr. Jewel Mullen.
The very week this survey was released, a Massachusetts teenager, Aaron Deveau, was convicted and sent to one year in jail for a fatal traffic accident that happened while he was texting and driving, according to the Associated Press.
The case is notable because Deveau is the first person to be convicted under a new law in that state that created the criminal charge of texting while driving negligently and causing injury, the AP reported.
The DPH said the survey results are based on responses by 2,058 middle and high school students to a youth behavior study, as well as 4,299 responses to a youth tobacco study.