Hispanic Teens Are Aware Of The Dangers Of Texting
New Poll: Hispanic Teens Are Aware Of The Dangers Of Texting While Driving, Yet 54 Percent Are Guilty Of This Risky Behavior
RESPONDING TO A TEXT “CAN WAIT;” THAT’S THE MESSAGE TO HISPANIC FAMILIES AFTER A STUDY SHOWS 52 PERCENT OF HISPANIC TEENS REPORT SEEING THEIR PARENTS TEXT WHILE DRIVING
DALLAS, May 16, 2012 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ – Findings from a new survey commissioned by AT&T* as part of the “It Can Wait” campaign indicate Hispanic teens are highly vulnerable when it comes to texting while driving. A shocking 54 percent of Hispanic teens admit to texting while driving, compared to 41 percent of Caucasian and 42 percent of African-American teenagers.
Even though most teens polled in this survey understand the dangers of texting while driving, more than 43 percent of teens admit to sending a text while driving and 75 percent say it is common among their friends. But even more troubling is the fact that these teens feel pressure to respond to texts quickly – within five minutes or less.
Smartphone penetration is very high among teenagers, especially among Hispanic teens who over-index on smartphone and technology adoption. According to this survey, 78 percent of the Hispanic teens interviewed in this survey report owning a smartphone, compared to only 68 percent of Caucasian teenagers. Additionally, Hispanics are more likely to be a cell phone-only household, meaning they use their cell phones as their primary way of communication, according to the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) by thePewResearchCenter.
“The prevalence of texting while driving is higher among Hispanic teens, which is why we feel it is our responsibility to help spread the word about the dangers of this risky behavior,” said Brent Wilkes, League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC). “Thanks to AT&T’s efforts to spread their no-texting-while-driving message throughout the Hispanic community, LULAC can do the same, saving lives in the process.”
With prom, graduation and summer nearing, we head into the “100 deadliest days” for teen drivers on the road – the days between Memorial Day and Labor Day.(1) Texting also ranks as the No. 1 mode of communication among teens.(2)On average, teens text five times more a day than a typical adult.(3)When this habit hits the road, drivers who text are 23 times more likely to be in an accident or near-accident.(4)
Highlights of the AT&T Teen Driver Survey:
- Peer Pressure: Almost all teens (89 percent) expect a reply to a text or email within five minutes or less.
- Knowledge but Little Action: 75 percent of teens say texting while driving is very dangerous – but 43 percent admit to doing so.
- “Gateway” Dangers: 70 percent of teens believe texting while stopped at a red light is dangerous.
- Still, 60 percent of teens admit to texting at a red light and 73 percent admit to glancing at their phone at a red light.
- 61 percent of teens say they glance at their phone while driving, and 61 percent have seen their friends read or send an email, or text, while driving.
- Learning by Example: According to 77 percent of teens, adults tell kids not to text while driving – yet adults do it themselves “all the time.”
- 41 percent of teens report seeing their parents read or send an email, or text, while driving.
- Still, 89 percent of teenagers say their own parents are good role models in terms of not texting while driving.
- And, 62 percent of teens feel that getting reminders from their own parents not to text and drive would be effective in getting them or their friends to stop texting and driving.
- Minority Disparities: Hispanic teens (54 percent) are more likely to admit to the practice of texting while driving than Caucasian (41 percent) and African-American (42 percent) teens.
- Hispanic teens (52 percent) also are more likely to report seeing their parents text while driving, compared to 38 percent of Caucasian teens and 44 percent of African-American teens who reported seeing their parents text while driving.
- What Helps Lessen the Urge: 89 percent of teens said a phone app to prevent texting & driving – like AT&T DriveMode™ – would be an effective way to get them or their friends to stop texting and driving. AT&T DriveMode™provides a customizable auto-reply message notifying friends that the user is driving and will respond when it is safe.
TAKING THE MESSAGE ON THE ROAD
To help address the issue and show first-hand the risks of texting while driving, AT&T is launching a 30-market U.S. tour of a texting-while-driving simulator, offered by The Peers Foundation. The simulator is a computerized car that lets users virtually text and drive – providing a realistic but safe experience for teens to understand the dangers of texting behind the wheel.
“Knowing that texting and driving is a recurring problem among teens in the Hispanic community, we’re extremely honored to support AT&T’s ‘It Can Wait’ campaign, which aims to educate the community on the dangers of texting behind the wheel,” said Gus West, The Hispanic Institute. “We, as adults, have to do our part by leading by example and putting the phone away while driving.”
The tour is traveling to local high schools nationwide May 8-June 1. The simulator will tour the West in Seattle and Spokane, Wash; Eugene and Portland, Ore.; Bakersfield, Fresno, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego, and San Francisco, Calif. It will also tour throughDallas,Houston, andSan Antonio,Texas;Little Rock,Ark.;St. LouisandKansas City,Mo.; andOmaha,Neb.Other cities includeDenver,Las Vegas,OklahomaCity,Phoenix, andSalt Lake City. InFlorida, the simulator will travel toJacksonville,Orlando,Miami,TampaandWellington. It will also be in Brentwood andKnoxville,Tenn., andLouisville,Ky.
AT&T’S COMMITMENT TO EDUCATION ON THE SUBJECT
Last week, AT&T received National Organizations for Youth Safety’s 2012 Youth Choice Award for ongoing efforts and working with teens to address the issue of texting while driving.
Nearly 3 million people have watched AT&T’s powerful 10-minute documentary, “The Last Text,” which features real stories of individual lives that have been drastically altered – or even ended – because of texting while driving.
In 2011, AT&T committed a four-year series of contributions totaling $1 million to help educate the public and spread the word about the campaign. This builds on 2010 contributions of $250,000 to nonprofit youth safety organizations to support the cause. AT&T has also created and maintained an online resource center that offers downloadable educational resources, such as pledges, posters and PSAs.
(3)Virginia Tech Transportation Institute Research: www.vtti.vt.edu
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