More research has been done on teens and the dangers of distracted driving in the last six months than in the previous 100 years of existence of the automobile. Of course, the dangers of distracted driving have only recently come to light. The ubiquitous nature of handheld devices and the many uses for them has led many people to consider these devices, and their use, an integral part of surviving in the modern world.

For years it has been common knowledge that teenagers are the most adept at using these devices and the most frequent “texters.” Stories of teenagers texting hundreds or even thousands of times every month have become as common as the devices themselves. It sometimes seems not a month goes by that some unsuspecting parents doesn’t receive a cell phone bill way over their monthly limit.

A recent report by the National Transportation Safety Board raised awareness of distracted driving by citing a study which showed that fatalities caused by distracted driving now outnumbered the fatalities caused by drunken driving crashes. It also showed that in the majority of those case teenage drivers were involved.

The National Institutes or Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention both concur that traffic crashes are the number one cause of death for teenagers in the United States. The link between these statistics is unmistakeable.

As lawmakers struggle to control the actions of drivers behind the wheel by limiting their ability to text and drive or use any sort of handheld device at all, parents are left to fend for themselves when it comes to warning their teenagers about the dangers of texting and driving.

In the meantime, whether you have a teenage driver in your house or not, be aware of the danger and drive defensively. And put your cell phone in the glove box.