Survey shows some teen drivers safer than parents

SEATTLE -- A new survey from AAA Washington reveals how bad we’re all doing at following the new E-DUI laws.

The law forbids texting, writing emails, typing or making calls while you’re behind the wheel – and the new survey says in some cases teenagers are following the law more often than their own parents.

“Distracted driving is contributing factor for 30 percent of fatalities in this state,” said Jennifer Cook from AAA.

The survey became public as the Washington State Patrol plans emphasis patrols this holiday season.

“We’re going to have so many more people traveling next week for the holidays and all the way through the New Year,” said Trooper Monica Alexander. “We just want people to get to their destinations safe.”

The survey of nearly 1,200 licensed Washington State drivers shows startling numbers: 19 percent of teens said they sent a text message daily while driving. What’s worse, 22 percent of parents with kids at home did the same thing. The data is similar for making calls and setting navigation – and all of it is illegal.

“Because this mimics DUI, chances are troopers are going to write you a ticket, but they’re doing it to save your life,” said Alexander.

The survey also showed only 1 in 3 drivers are fully complying with the state’s E-DUI law. So, what are you supposed to do if you’re one of the good one’s behind the wheel surrounded by other distracted drivers?

“I get out of their way, I let them have the road because I don’t want to be a part of their problem,” said Alexander.