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Study: Parents unaware of teens texting while driving

PHOENIX -- A University of Michigan study said many teens are picking up their parents' driving behaviors, for better or for worse.

The study of almost 6,000 teen drivers found those who think mom and dad are distracted drivers are more likely to do the same behind the wheel: eating while driving, texting behind the wheel, etc.

"If you're telling the kids to not text and drive yet doing it yourself, you're setting a horrific example for teen drivers," said Stephanie Dembowski with AAA Arizona.

According to the study, 26 percent of teens read or send a text message at least once every time they drive; one in five teens admitted to having extended, multiple-message text conversations while driving.

Triple A has made several pushes for state lawmakers to green light a statewide ban.

"We're well aware that a state law against texting while driving would not prevent all crashes," said Dembowski. "It would certainly be a first step. We will continue to push for measures to keep drivers safe."

Arizona doesn't have a statewide law that bans texting while driving. Phoenix and Tucson are the only cities that have banned it.

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About the Author


Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Have covered some of the biggest stories in Arizona including nine of the top 10 largest wildfires in state history. The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. Covered the Yarnell Hill Tragedy in June 2013 that left 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots dead.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges and Lonesome Dove.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, Texas Longhorns, The University of Montana Grizzlies.

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