Meadville Tribune

Opinion

August 29, 2012

Teens' 'designated texter' takes seat next to driver

WASHINGTON — After growing up during a campaign against drunken driving, many teenagers say they've embraced the notion of a designated driver. Coming of age amid condemnation of distracted driving, some say they use a "designated texter" when driving with friends.

Despite that, a new study shows that about a third of them admit to sending and reading text messages while behind the wheel. The report was consistent with federal research this year, which showed that teens and drivers under the age of 25 are much more likely to text than older drivers.

Crashes are the leading cause of teenage deaths, and teens are more likely to die in them than any age group other than those over 80.

The good news in a report released Tuesday by Bloomington, Ill.-based State Farm Insurance was a greater awareness among teenagers of the risk posed by using mobile devices to text or talk while driving.

"It was very promising to see so many teens voice their concerns about this issue and see that the drivers listened to them and took action," said research director Chris Mullen. "Research tells us that texting while driving can be just as dangerous as drinking and driving. More education and conversations need to occur so teens understand that no one can handle driving distracted."

A federal survey done in December found that 11 percent of drivers age 18 to 20 said they were sending or receiving text messages when they crashed. But the federal report also discovered that drivers in that age group were more likely to recognize the risk than those age 21 to 24.

The new State Farm survey, conducted by Harris Interactive, found that four out of five teen passengers said they scolded a driver for texting. One Pennsylvania teen, Navea Frazier, told the insurance carrier: "When I'm in a car with my friends or family, I say, 'Hey, don't do that. I'll text for you.' I'm the designated texter."

Text Only
Opinion
  • Many veterans suffer PTSD, which needs to be dealt with

    Initially, I intended this article to be about PTSD “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.” I wanted to write about the myths and misconceptions that those four words may hold. But as the days went by, the story just wouldn’t come together for me. Everything I typed seemed to miss something. There was no feeling.

    April 17, 2014

  • Journalists in combat zones ‘write with light’ while risking their lives

    I first heard the news on National Public Radio on my car radio. On April 4, the day before elections in Afghanistan, an Afghan military officer walked up to a car in a convoy and opened fire. Anja Niedringhaus, a staff photographer for The Associated Press, died instantly.

    April 16, 2014

  • There’s no war on men and boys — it’s quite the opposite

    Two weeks ago, Paul Dici submitted an column titled “It’s time to fight against the war on men and boys” (March 28). Mr. Dici would have us believe that men and boys are being “wussified” by a progressive agenda that may jeopardize our national security. Also, he makes the point that men and boys are not given the same advantages (programs) as women and girls.

    April 14, 2014

  • McCord outsourcing ‘scandal’ reminds me of Y2K fears

    With only seven weeks to go until the May primary election, the campaigns are expected to get a lot hotter and more negative.

    April 13, 2014

  • Can we trust luck when it comes to the nuclear industry?

    Let’s review the history to better understand a major concern of today.

    April 11, 2014

  • Aging — is it a disease to be cured?

    If you are already old, get ready for what comes next. If you are not old yet but on the way, it is not too early to start thinking about aging and dying, because both are part of being human.

    April 10, 2014

  • Local high school students help keep future of journalism bright

    Significant technological and economic changes have caused some to question the future of journalism, both as a viable business enterprise and as a potential career. But if the proceedings of the eighth annual Northwest Pennsylvania High School Journalism Day are any indication, journalism is alive and well, especially in Crawford County.

    April 10, 2014

  • Reps want to hang ‘English only’ sign at the Capitol

    Pennsylvania, it turns out, is one of 19 states that have failed to address the menace that is non-English. Or maybe it’s un-English? Or dis-English? There must be a word for it.

    April 8, 2014

  • The Arc: A welcoming community of support

    Let me give you some background about services that The Arc of Crawford, Warren and Forest counties provide to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. These individuals are your neighbors, loved ones and family members.

    April 7, 2014 1 Story

  • Outside the Box: Gather information and weigh your options — but always go on your guts

    Years ago, I was working in my father’s home office. I grabbed a gold Cross pen to sign a letter. Hours later, my dad wanted to know where the pen was. He was insistent. What’s the big deal, I wondered.

    April 2, 2014