Red Line Fever: Cured?

Texas teens are trying to be safe drivers, but there's still gaps in their road safety education

Texas teens aren't necessarily bad drivers - if they can take the cell phone out of their hands.

The Texas Transportation Institute, as part of their Teens in the Driver Seat campaign, surveyed 4,400 teens at 18 Texas high schools to find out if they were aware of dangerous driving habits, and how often they were likely to indulge in them. 80% had either a driver's permit or license, and, in good news, most students knew about the big traditional risks and avoided them. Only 2% of students surveyed didn't know that any of the top bad habits – drinking/drugs, cell phone/texting, speeding, too many teen passengers, using a seatbelt and driving at night – might get them killed or increase the risk of a serious accident.

However, 67% have talked on the phone while driving, while 51% have either read or written a text while driving. However, there's a weird twist there: it seems that urban kids are a little bit smarter about the risks, because students polled from rural areas were twice as likely to be on the phone while barreling along the road.

But a bigger issue may be a lack of understanding of the law. Only 42% had taken a formal driving education class, and only 50% knew about the graduated licensing law, which sets different standards the longer a driver has held their license. This could explain why only one polled teen in five knew they had to have an accompanying adult if they had other teenagers in their car.

Visit the TTI website for the full results.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Transportation
Austin Transportation Guide
Austin Transportation Guide
How to get around Austin, with or without your own wheels

Katie Walsh, March 3, 2017

Getting Around Austin
Getting Around Austin
Explore Downtown without a car and without getting lost

Annamarya Scaccia, June 22, 2016

More by Richard Whittaker
<i>Midsommar</i> Madness
Midsommar Madness
The obsessions of Ari Aster illuminated in his folk horror hit

July 12, 2019

Sound! Euphonium: The Movie – Our Promise: A Brand New Day
Beloved anime franchise adds new phrasing to its familiar tune

July 12, 2019

KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Transportation, Texas Transportation Institute, Road safety

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle