8/21/18 - Texting Teens

8/21/18 - Texting Teens

By Chris Conroy
KFVS12 Vice President and General Manager

Drive on our highways, through our neighborhoods, or in our parking lots, and you'll see an epidemic of distracted driving from people of all ages.  People are actually driving with their phones down on their steering wheels to hide the fact that they're doing it. Distracted driving is an ongoing theme here on A Better Heartland.

Heartland News Journalist Nathan Ellgren reported on a survey released this week showing some alarming statistics.

Study: How Many Teens Text and Drive in the Heartland

In a study published in the latest issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health, researchers analyzed data on more than 100,000 high school students aged 14 years old and up in 35 states from the 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Survey. According to the survey, as many as 47% of Missouri teenagers admit to texting or emailing while driving. I think that's low, especially since the survey only focused on texting and driving and didn't include other ways of handling your phone like social media, making calls, and web browsing.

So what happens when a young teen driver turns 21? In Illinois and Kentucky, it means that texting and driving is still illegal for everyone. But in Missouri texting and driving is only illegal for people under the age of 21. You heard that right. We need to get with the times and change that law quickly. I'm calling on Missouri law makers to make texting and driving illegal for everybody.

Putting our safety first and putting down the phone when driving makes this  A Better Heartland.

Newsweek: Worst U.S. States for Dangerous Teen Driving and Texting Revealed

This is just one of many opinions. If you'd like to comment we want to hear from you. Use the e-mail or mailing address below to submit your comments. Be sure to include your name and hometown in case we use your comment on the air.

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