Many American teens consider texting while driving to be less dangerous than drinking and driving, even though research shows the two can be equally serious, says a survey released Monday.
The poll of 697 teens ages 14 to 17 found that only 36 percent strongly agreed that they could be killed if they regularly text and drive, compared with 55 percent who believed the same thing about drinking and driving.
The survey also found that 63 percent of the teens strongly agreed they could get into an accident if they text and drive, compared with 78 percent who believed the same thing about drinking and driving.
Teens who said they never text and drive were more likely than those who admitted to texting while driving to strongly agree they could get into an accident if they text and drive -- 73 percent vs. 52 percent.
"Some teens still think the consequences of reaching for a cell phone are less severe than reaching for a beer bottle," Laurette Stiles, vice president of strategic resources at State Farm, said in a news release. "We have a lot of catching up to do when it comes to helping teens understand that texting while driving can be every bit as dangerous as drinking while driving. It's an awareness gap that must be addressed."
The survey was conducted by Harris Interactive for State Farm, an insurance company.