Government Targets Distracted Teen Drivers

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A federal government agency has partnered with a leading magazine to make sure teenagers keep their eyes and their minds on the road.

The U.S. Department of Transportation and Consumer Reports unveiled a new advertising campaign to fight distracted driving. The campaign titled "Distracted Driving Shatters Lives" is aimed at stopping texting while driving.

A free guide on the dangers of texting while driving will be distributed at schools and volunteer groups. Public service announcements will also be broadcast in the coming months.

Consumer Reports surveyed more than a thousand drivers of all ages and found among the respondents under the age of 30, only 36 percent were very concerned about the problem of distracted driving, and only 30 percent felt it was very dangerous to use a handheld phone while behind the wheel.

  • A person texting at the wheel is 23 times more likely to be in a crash.
  • Teenagers are also three times more likely to be involved in fatal accidents than other drivers.

According to the Department of Transportation, nearly 5,500 people were killed and almost a half million were injured in accidents related to distracted driving in 2009. Eighteen percent of those fatal accidents involved the use of a cell phone.

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