Today's teenagers are masters at high-tech multitasking, juggling cell phones, text messaging, online chatting and more. While managing the different forms of communication may be hip, Seventeen magazine's Ann Shoket says the trend does not mix with driving. Ann talks with Gayle about a recent AAA/Seventeen survey that shows an increasing number of teens multitasking and engaging in other distracting behavior while behind the wheel.
According to the survey of 1,000 teens, 46 percent text messaged while driving, 51 percent talked on the phone while driving, 58 percent drove with friends in the car and 40 percent have exceeded the speed limit by 10 miles per hour. "It used to be that everybody was worried about driving under the influence," Ann says. "Now, everyone has to worry about driving while distracted. When you combine a cell phone—whether you are talking or texting—with driving, it is a recipe for disaster."
Preventing distracted driving deaths starts at home and Ann says that means parents need to reiterate good driving habits. "If parents are giving their teens the responsibility of driving a car, then parents have to give their teens the responsibility of enforcing the rules of the road," she says. Ann shares advice for teen drivers to follow when behind the wheel:
Sign a safe driving contract.
Wear a seatbelt.
Avoid changing the radio.
Do not talk on your cell phone.
Do not text message.
Allow a maximum of one teen passenger in the car.
Printed from Oprah.com on Tuesday, December 10, 2013