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Teens, adults still texting and driving in North Carolina

Young, new drivers are among the most vulnerable people on the road. With limited driving experience and a sense of invincibility, teen drivers often do not realize the dangers of certain behaviors behind the wheel. Additionally, a novice driver may be particularly susceptible to peer pressure and distraction. Often, young drivers will engage in behaviors they know are wrong because they want to look cool or they feel as though they can get away with it.

A recent federal report was just released that indicates that over half of all teen drivers have admitted to texting while driving even though they know it is dangerous. Not only is it dangerous, but drivers in North Carolina likely know that it is also illegal in this state to text, email or use the Internet while driving.

The fact that roughly 58 percent of high school seniors continue to text or email while driving may not be that surprising. Young people are accustomed to immediate responses and feel compelled to reply to messages as soon as they are received. In fact, teenagers send and receive an average of a whopping 100 texts per day.

Across the country, stories of teen drivers being the cause of or injured in a serious distracted driving accident have been widely reported. Despite the fact that distracted driving deaths are most common for teenagers, young people have yet to significantly alter their behavior.

Because distracted driving can be as dangerous as drunk driving, charges of texting while driving can be aggressively pursued. A young teenager who quickly sends a text while at a stoplight may think it's no big deal, but the charges that may result can have a huge impact. However, by dealing with charges and working to have them reduced or dismissed, a teen may be able to avoid serious penalties.

Source: Fay Observer, "More teen drivers can't stop texting," Mike Stobbe, June 8, 2012

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