Do you know what your teen is doing behind the wheel? One in 4 teens admit to texting while they drive, and experts say that can lead to other risky behavior.
In 2011, 45% of students 16 and older surveyed admitted to texting or emailing while driving, according to a USA Today article. In the study released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, researchers found that teens who texted while driving were far more likely to engage in other risky behaviors while driving a car.
For example, the study found teens who texted in the car almost everyday were 40% more likely to not consistently wear a seat belt. Teens who texted while driving were also five times more likely to drive after drinking alcohol than those who didn't text.
Experts say the risky behavior can go beyond the car. During the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies, researchers also reported teens who text and drive are also more likely to binge drink, use drugs and have unsafe sex.
CDC Director Thomas Frieden says one way parents can teach their children good behavior while driving is to set the example. "Multitasking may be fine if you're sitting at your desk, but not when you're driving a car," Frieden told USA Today. "Things can go so badly so quickly. That's what I think teens don't recognize."