Teens using tongues against texting and driving

New survey reveals how teens can help stop texting and driving. / Jessica Fairley

A new survey conducted by State Farm and Harris Interactive is shedding some light on the power of speaking out against texting and driving.

Every year thousands of people lose their lives in car accidents and many of those are teen drivers distracted by texting behind the wheel.

New research shows that when teens are riding together, one brave voice may help save a life by demanding a friend stop texting.

"I have family members that were killed in car accidents from texting and driving and I constantly tell my brother to stop texting while he's driving," says Brittany Tripp, a teen driver.

According to the State Farm survey, nearly four in five teens (78%) say they spoke up and confronted a driver who was texting. Out of that group 84% say the driver listened and stopped.

"It's really uncomfortable because you really don't know when something bad is going to happen," says Brittany Tripp.

Tripp and her friend, Regan Reaves, have both run into similar situations but in the case of Reaves, it's her mom who breaks the rules.

"My mom constantly texts while driving and it makes me nervous because of all the accidents that have been happening lately," says Regan Reaves, a teen driver.

The student says she's not afraid to speak up.

"I just ask her can you stop, it's making me nervous," says Regan Reaves.

While both students have had to confront others about texting and driving, Lakese Brown, another teen driver, says she hasn't been in that situation but speaking out isn't something she would have a problem doing.

"I would because they'd be putting my life in danger and probably other people," says Lakese Brown, a teen driver.

Brown says driver's education schooled her on the dangers of texting and driving. When she's on the road, she says the place for her hands and the place for her phone is away from each other.

In the survey conducted by State Farm and Harris Interactive, of the nearly one in five teens (16%) who did not point out the distracted behavior, almost half (48%) stated they felt the driver could handle the distraction, so they did not speak up.

The survey also indicated that while the majority of teens tell others not to text and drive, about a third still engage in the behavior themselves. In the survey, 34 percent indicated they had engaged in texting while driving.

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