Julian: You hear it over…
Instructor: It’s a distraction.
Julian: …And over.
Instructor: It’s very dangerous, as we all know.
Julian: And these student drivers in Mesquite, Texas know the answers.
Instructor: Can it cause a death, impairment, or injury?
Julian: But they also know what they see. When asked if the adults in their lives text and drive, every hand went up.
Jaylen Cole: My mom does it all the time, and has been doing it so often it makes it, like, ‘man, if nothing has happened yet, nothing is ever going to happen.’
Julian: The instructors at the All-American Driving School say telling students it is the wrong way is easy. But convincing them when their parents do it, that is the challenge.
Gabrille Adams: My mom does it sometimes. My dad does it. I know my grandpa, he drives trucks, like 18-wheelers, and he does it.
Julian: And the problem of adults texting and driving is getting worse. In a new analysis of a survey by the Centers for Disease Control, 46% of drivers age 17 admitted to texting and driving, compared to 52% of drivers age 18 and older. And in another study, almost all the adults said they know the dangers but still do it.
Daniel says no matter how many times he tells him to stop, his father won’t stop texting behind the wheel.
Daniel: You know that you have three lives in your hands, so don’t put them at risk. I always tell him. He never listens to us.
Julian: Parents’ behavior is also a big predictor of teens texting behavior. Teens that were not told by mom and dad not to text and drive sent more text messages from behind the wheel.
Patrick Sheehy: Texting behind the wheel is very, very dangerous.
Those are virtual reality goggles.
Julian: At the Arrive Alive tour at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania, students used a video simulator to see just how dangerous texting and driving can be.
Patrick: For every letter that you text, it’s the equivalent of taking your eyes off the road for four seconds.
Julian: Do the math. Typing a sentence…
Patrick: Your eyes are off the road for two to three minutes at a time.
Julian: And it can be as dangerous as drunk driving.
Expert: Texting while driving is just becoming sort of epidemic, and it’s higher cause of deaths than even drinking while driving, and the impairment that comes with texting is worse than drinking while driving.
Julian: Seventeen-year-old Gabrille Adams averages a thousand text messages every day but she says she won’t text and drive.
Gabrille: I’m not going to do it, for sure.
Julian: Julian Dujarric, Channel One News.