SOURCE: AAA Texas

July 10, 2007 12:56 ET

New AAA Survey Shows Teens Admit to Risky Driving Behaviors

Speeding, Cell Phones and Text Messaging While Driving Top the List

IRVING, TX--(Marketwire - July 10, 2007) - A new survey on teen driving done by AAA and Seventeen magazine says that 61% of teens freely admit to risky habits while driving a vehicle including text messaging, talking on cell phones, speeding and drinking and driving.

The nationwide survey of 1,000 16 and 17-year-old teen drivers conducted in April reveals that:

--  66% say they have exceeded speed limits by 10 mph or more
--  51% talking on the cell phone while driving
--  46% text message while driving
--  11% have driven after drinking alcohol or using drugs
    
"Motor vehicle crashes are the leading killer of teens and these types of behaviors can set the stage for tragedy," said Paul Flaningan, spokesman for AAA Texas. "Teens are inexperienced drivers who need to focus on driving and not be distracted by friends or other activities."

Texas' Graduated Driving License Law places certain restrictions on teen drivers during the first six months of a provisional license.

--  Passenger Restriction: The teen driver may not drive with more than
    one passenger under age 21 unless accompanied by a licensed driver age 21
    or older.  An exception exists for driving family members under age 21.
--  Late-Night Restriction: A teen may not drive between midnight and 5
    a.m. unless accompanied by a licensed driver age 21 or older.  Exceptions
    are permitted for employment, school-related activities and medical
    emergency.
--  Wireless device restriction: A teen may not use a wireless device
    (cell phone, text message) while driving.
    
"Parents can help teens become better drivers," said Flaningan, "by exhibiting good driving skills and avoiding distractions like electronic devices while driving. Parents should talk to their teens about why it's important to focus on driving, obey traffic laws and make cell phone calls or text message only when they reach their destination."

Information is available at www.aaa.com. DriverZED, a DVD driving risk assessment program for teens is available at AAA Texas offices for $5 for members and $7 for non-members. The brochure called 'Teen Drivers: A Guide to Texas New Graduated Driver License' is available in AAA Texas district offices for free in both English and Spanish.

AAA Texas, a member of the American Automobile Association federation of motor clubs, has been serving Texans since 1902. Today, more than a million AAA Texas members benefit from the organization's roadside assistance service, travel agency, financial products, automotive pricing, buying and financing, trip planning services, and traffic safety programs. Information about these products and services is available on the AAA Texas web site at www.aaa.com.

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