In an online survey of 1,300 teen drivers with cellphones, scheduled for release Monday, the youths said that even though their parents may warn them against it, they think adult drivers send text messages “all the time.”
A sizable proportion of the teens in the study also admitted to engaging in the same dangerous practice. About the same number who said they saw their parents do it admitted to doing it themselves.
The new data — released as part of an effort by AT&T to combat distracted driving — conform with some of the work done by the Pew Research Center
, which conducted surveys and focus groups two years ago with teenagers about smartphones.
“Often it was the parent who was engaging in dangerous behavior that the teens themselves thought was crazy,” said Amanda Lenhart, who directs Pew’s research on teens, children and families. “We heard from some teens who said, ‘My dad does it or my mom does it, but they do it in a safe way.’ Other teens would say things like, ‘It’s crazy, it totally freaks me out.’ ”