It's no secret that using a cell phone while driving may increase your risk of a crash. Two new studies weighed just how dangerous the practice can be when teenagers are behind the wheel- especially when it comes to texting.
One study looked at text-messaging while driving. University of Oklahoma researchers wanted to know if banning the practice might actually lead to more crashes because teen drivers will try to text and conceal the phone at the same time.
Results show teens consistently drove worse when texting, regardless of whether the phone was hidden.
A second study found that even thinking about future cell phone calls and text messages may be an additional source of distraction and contribute to crashes.
Teens were taking their eyes off the road to check for text messages or missed calls.
Researchers say it's imperative to limit distractions for teen drivers, and experts add that parents should lead by example.
"As a parent, you should not be texting, you should not be on the cell phone, lead by example, says Cleveland Clinic child psychologist Dr. Joe Austerman. "It becomes very detrimental if you're telling your children not to text, but they see you doing it. And when I say text I don't mean just sending out messages, I mean looking at your cell phone, when you take your eyes off the road."
Both studies are being presented this week at the Pediatric Academy Society's annual meeting.