Teen texting and driving is a national problem, according to the first federal statistics released on the topic, with 58 percent of high school seniors admitting that they text or e-mail while driving.
Think your teen would never text while driving? More than half of high school seniors admitted in a government survey that they've done just that.
It's the first time the question was asked in a teen poll on risky behavior, and the finding comes amid a renewed federal crackdown on distracted driving.
"We need to teach kids, who are the most vulnerable drivers, that texting and driving don't mix," LaHood said at a Washington news conference to announce pilot projects in Delaware and California to discourage distracted driving.
In the survey, about 58 percent of high school seniors said they had texted or e-mailed while driving during the previous month. About 43 percent of high school juniors acknowledged they did the same thing.
"I'm not surprised at all," said Vicki Rimasse, a New Jersey woman whose son caused a fender bender earlier this year after texting in traffic. She made him take a safe-driving class after the mishap.
"I felt like an idiot," said her 18-year-old son, Dylan Young. The episode taught him "to be a lot more cautious," although he conceded that he sometimes still texts behind the wheel.