There's more statistical data to verify the old adage about young people believing they are invincible. In the April issue of Consumer Reports, sixteen percent of all teenage drivers involved in a fatal crash reported being distracted while driving. Another eye-opener: 63% of the respondents who were under 30 told Consumer Reports they had used handheld phones while driving within the previous month, while nearly one-third said they had texted behind the wheel. By comparison, the figures were 4 percent and 9 percent, respectively, for respondents 30 or older.
A 2009 study cited by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found that "dialing a phone while driving increases the risk of a crash as much as six times." But in its most recent polling, Consumer Reports said that just 36 percent of survey respondents who are 18 to 29 years old said they were very concerned with the problem of distracted driving.
Coincidentally, the Consumers Union and the U.S. Department of Transportation have jointly released a public service announcement on YouTube to raise awareness of the problem.