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Girl drivers top text culprits

02 May 2012, 11:42

WASHINGTON - Girls in the United States are more likely than boys to snd SMS's from behind the wheel, despite widespread youth awareness of the perils of distracted driving.

A nationwide survey suggests that two-thirds of 2012 drivers aged 15-21 who took part in the online survey rated themselves to be "very safe" drivers, with almost every one else describing themselves as somewhat safe.

But a large number acknowledged that they engaged in distracted driving anyway - from changing a radio station to eating and drinking soft drinks.


Thirty-eight percent of girls admitted reading texts while driving and 27% said they had written text message while at the wheel. For boys, the figures were 17% and 11% respectively.

Angela Patterson oversees a teen driving safety programme for tyremaker Bridgestone, which funded the survey. She said: "We need to reinforce the idea that it takes only one time - one sip of coffee, one change of radio station, one glimpse at the cellphone - to cause, or be involved in, a crash."

Prince Market Research gave the survey an overall margin of error of 2.2%. It said it considered a phone survey but thought otherwise for fear that some respondents might be driving when contacted by its pollsters.

April 2012 has been declared National Distracted Driving Awareness Month by the US Department of Transport. West Virginia has become the 10th of the 50 states to outlaw both texting and handheld cellphone use on the road.


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