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4/11/2011 - Consumer Reports, DOT warn parents of texting-while-driving epidemic

Transportation secretary says texting while driving is an epidemic on America's roads.

The number of people texting while driving is a serious problem. To curb the growing trend, Consumer Reports is teaming with the Department of Transportation to inform parents about how prevalent the problem is.

Earlier this month, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Consumers Union President Jim Guest announced the release of a free guide for parents called "Distracted Driving Shatters Lives." Available at the websites of the DOT and Consumer Reports, copies of the guide are being distributed to schools and volunteer groups by the National School Safety Coalition.

"Distracted driving has become a deadly epidemic on America's roads, and teens are especially vulnerable because of their inexperience behind the wheel," LaHood said. "Behind the statistics are real families who have been devastated by these tragedies."

The prevalence of texting while driving, particularly among young Americans, is one of several factors that may lead to accidents on the road and drive up auto insurance premiums. According to a Consumer Reports survey, 30 percent of respondents under 30 reported texting while driving within the past month. The rate was 9 percent among respondents 30 years and older.

Selective encourages all drivers to drive safely and responsibly.

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