Teen texting and driving

Thousands of crashes each year are caused by texting drivers, but many teens don't see the danger.

Teen driver texting while driving.

Texting and driving is dangerous no matter how skilled a driver is — it's especially dangerous to new drivers. Knowing the dangers is an important step towards making wise choices on the road.

Teen texting and driving statistics

Texting is a part of the mainstream culture, and for many young people, texting is an essential means of communication. 2022 statistics reveal that too many teens believe they can drive safely while looking at their phones. Yet, according to slicktext.com, teens who do text and drive spend 10% of their time driving outside of their lane, and teens make up the largest age group reported as distracted in fatal crashes. One poll found that 97% of teen drivers agree that texting and driving is dangerous but 43% admitted to doing it anyway. According to NHTSA, your eyes are off the road for at least 5 seconds when reading or sending a text. During that time — if traveling at 55mph — you have essentially driven the length of a football field without paying attention to the road.

Teen texting and driving deaths

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that 7% of all teen motor vehicle crash fatalities in 2020 involved distracted driving. It also found that 3,142 people were killed in distraction-affected crashes and teens between 15 and 19 years old made up 6% of that total.

Forty-eight states and Washington D.C. have banned text messaging for all drivers, and 36 states ban cellphone use by novice drivers.

Car crashes are the number one killer of teens in the United States, and drivers are increasingly using mobile web services. Parents should make sure they provide their teens the right message and the data to back it up. It might make a life-or-death difference.

Tips for parents and teen drivers to help avoid texting and driving

Talking to your teen can help them understand the dangers of texting and driving, but setting a good example is the most important tool a parent has. Remind your teen that a violation of distracted-driving laws may either delay when they can get their license or cause a current license to be suspended. Having to pay the cost of a ticket themselves, plus the additional insurance cost resulting from it, could be a good deterrent.

Other consequences parents can impose are taking away phone or driving privileges for a period of time. You can even have your teen sign a pledge to commit to distraction-free driving. Parents can also encourage their children to join a Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) chapter.

For additional tips for coaching your teen to drive safely you can view the Agents of Change: Common Distractions for Teens video.

Visit our collection of articles for additional safe driving tips for teens.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm® (including State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates). While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. State Farm is not responsible for, and does not endorse or approve, either implicitly or explicitly, the content of any third party sites that might be hyperlinked from this page. The information is not intended to replace manuals, instructions or information provided by a manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional, or to affect coverage under any applicable insurance policy. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.
Start a Quote
Select a product to start a quote.
Agents Near You
Contact Us
844-373-0003

Also important

Ways to Help with Teen Driving Safety

Teenage speeding is a major problem, causing fatal car accidents throughout the US. These driving tips can help prevent speeding and help teens drive safer.

What to Do When Pulled Over by Police

Getting pulled over by a police officer can be stressful and scary, especially if you're not sure how to handle the situation. Read these tips to be prepared.

Related articles

Teen Driving 101: A Step-by-Step Test of Essential Driving Skills

Before letting your teenager get behind the wheel, go over this driver skills checklist.

Advice for Teens on Dealing With an Accident

A car accident as a teen can be tricky. Let us walk you through several tips to prepare before an accident happens and what to do after one occurs.

Teen Drivers: Buckle Up for Seat Belt Safety

Teen drivers sacrifice important protection when they don't buckle up. Help make seat belt safety a habit with tips from this video.