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According to a recent national survey of more than 2,500 eleventh and twelfth graders conducted by Liberty Mutual Insurance and SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions), 33 percent of teen drivers say they often text while they drive and 56 percent say they do it at least sometimes. This, despite nearly half (48 percent) of the teens saying they consider texting to be the most distracting behavior behind the wheel. Even more teen drivers (64 percent) say they sometimes talk on the cell phone while driving; more than a quarter of them (28 percent) confess that they chat often. And they are not just gabbing. The teens appear to be getting full functionality from their phones. The survey says that one-quarter (26 percent) of teens admit they have at least sometimes used their cell phone to take pictures or videos while driving, 18 percent say they have gone online, and 15 percent say they have updated their Facebook or MySpace status through their phones while behind the wheel. The National Highway Safety Administration reports that nearly 6,000 people died and a half-million others were injured in car crashes involving a distracted driver in 2008. NHTSA also says that drivers under the age of 20 have the highest proportion of distraction-related fatal crashes. April 30 has been declared National No Phone Zone Day, an effort to get people to hang up and simply drive.

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