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Texting while driving is No. 1 killer of teens

Thursday - 4/5/2012, 5:32am  ET

John Aaron, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - Texting while driving is the No. 1 killer of American teens.

The not-for-profit Texting Awareness Foundation hopes that statistic from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is enough to convince drivers to put away their phones when they are driving.

As part of Distracted Driver Awareness Month, the foundation released these facts:

  • Answering a text takes away your attention for about 5 seconds, which is enough time to travel the length of a football field.

  • When a driver is texting, steering capability decreases by 91 percent.

  • While texting, reaction time decreases by 35 percent.

  • About 6,000 deaths and a half a million injuries are caused by distracted drivers every year.

  • Text messaging creates a crash risk 23 times worse than driving under normal circumstances.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)