Survey reveals many drivers text and drive despite knowing dangers

(July 22, 2013) LAKEWOOD, N.J. — A new Kars4Kids survey revealed that despite high awareness and knowledge (97.8 percent) of the dangers of texting while driving among drivers, many U.S. adults and teens still engage in the deadly behavior anyway.

The survey also indicated that 42.7 percent or drivers read incoming messages while driving and 29.9 percent send out text messages while driving, despite said knowledge. The study was conducted in a July 2013 survey among 1,000 U.S. adults ages 18 and older.

The study says auto accidents are the leading cause of death for teens and distracted driving often caused by texting is the leading cause of those accidents. Of the 1,000 people surveyed, only 33.5 percent were aware of that fact, and 55.1 percent had never discussed the dangers of texting and driving with family members.

The majority of respondents, 92.9 percent, agree that the actions of parents have major impacts on their children and yet the survey indicates that even adults continue to text and drive, despite knowing the dangers; some even after having discussed the problem with their children.  On the other hand, 55.1 percent of parents have never had a discussion with their children about texting and driving.

"Based on our survey results, we see that people think that speeding is the major cause of death among teens, texting is second and drinking is third. But, the truth is, texting is actually the leading cause of death among teen drivers," said Kars4Kids spokesperson Steven Welder. "So why is it that so many parents are willing to speak with their kids about drinking and driving, and speeding, but they're not willing to discuss texting and driving? We need to find a way to get it into the minds of teens, and parents, that texting and driving is not okay. And it needs to stop."

The survey also revealed that 19.6 percent of respondents know people who have been in car accidents which were a result of texting and driving. "While the number seems low, it still represents 228 respondents. That's 228 people who may have had their lives altered, quite significantly, because of texting and driving. It's scary," Mr. Weldler said.

Kars4Kids, the leader in national charity car donations used to help educate children, joined the fight against texting and driving on June 21 when it launched a public awareness campaign and published a Website designed to discourage texting and driving.

Kars4Kids is a non-profit organization that works to give back to the community through a variety of education, youth development, family outreach, and faith-based programs. The organizations provide an array of services to children and families including educational programming, school placement, tuition assistance, mentorship programs, cultural activities, religious instruction, recreation and guidance counseling.