Car accidents remain the leading cause of death for teenagers in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that seven drivers between 16 and 19-years-old were killed in car accidents every day in 2010.

The use of technology has played a huge role in fatal car accidents involving teens. Many already think teenage drivers are more likely to text but a new study proves just how many teens are texting while behind the wheel. The results are not good news for parents or safety advocates.

Teenagers are 26 times more likely to send text messages while driving than their parents think they will, according to a safety study by Toyota Motors and the University of Michigan. The study surveyed more than 5,500 teens in the U.S. between the ages of 16 and 18 and their parents.

The study found that 54 percent of teens said they had used a hand-held cellphone while driving. Teen driving behavior is also being impacted by passengers. The study reported that despite certain state laws, 69 percent of teens admitted to driving with other teenagers and no adults, which has also become a significant safety issue.

The dangers of distracted driving are more prevalent than in the past with the increased use of technology and social media. Despite reports on the disastrous consequences of texting while driving, many teens still use their cellphone while they drive. Safety advocates said that parents need to be more aware of their teen’s behavior while driving and teach them safe driving behaviors.

Source: Bloomberg, “Teens Text More While Driving Than Parents Think: Study,” Alan Ohnsman, Nov. 27, 2012