STUDY: Texting & driving now leading cause of teen deaths

(FOX19) - A national survey shows that about 44% of teenagers who took it admitted to texting and driving. Those teenagers reported texting and driving at least once in the previous month.

When compared to teens who aren't texting and driving, those who are were more likely to not use a seatbelt, drink and drive and take a ride from someone who's been drinking.

The study was reported in 'Pediatrics', but those aren't the most alarming statistics out there.

Believe it or not, drunk driving is no longer the leading killer of teens, according to some other research.  It's actually texting.

We talked to one woman who survived a texting and driving accident, and she has a simple message.

"She swerved left of center, and hit me head on," said Aimee Linville, who survived a texting and driving accident.

Two years ago, Linville was hit on a rural Alabama road by a driver going 75 MPH in a 35 MPH zone while texting.

"There's never a time during the day when I am unaffected.  I've lost my leg.  I lost a baby in the accident.  I've got metal in every limb," added Linville.

Texting is the reason why her life changed, and it's doing the same for younger drivers.  Some new numbers reported from Cohen Children's Medical Center in New York are eye-opening.  3,000 teens are dying from texting and driving ever year, overtaking drunk driving deaths and becoming the leading killer of teens.

"That's shocking.  It's a scary thought, honestly, knowing that many people, they're distracted the entire time.  You're not only putting yourself in danger, but you're putting everyone else around you in danger," said Hannah Lawless, a student at Bick's Driving School.

"It's pretty scary to realize that just one text can end your life so fast," said Jordan Hurley, another student at the school.

Those two are just a small part of the students at Bick's Driving School learning the rules of the road.  A big part of that is putting the phone down.

"It involves visual, physical and cognitive skills.  When you're text messaging all three of them are involved, and that's the danger," said Ken Stigall, retired owner of Bick's Driving School.

That's why Linville is going to start speaking to teens around the area this week.  She's going to tell her story, and hopefully get them to hang up and drive.

"When you get in the car, just turn it off.  You don't need it.  It's for emergency uses only.  Just the thought of seeing someone texting while they're driving, it really hurts me," Linville told FOX19.

View the full published study here:

You can also follow this link to take the pledge and make the commitment to Put Down The Phone & Make It Home -

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