An alarming number of Ontario teens report that they have texted while behind the wheel of a vehicle.
A survey for the province was conducted for the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.
The 2013 survey found that more than one-third of licensed Ontario students in Grades 10 to 12 reported the dangerous behaviour. For Grade 12 students alone, 46 per cent of those who drive say they also texted at least once while operating a vehicle.
Robert Mann, a senior scientist at the Centre for Addiction and mental health in Toronto, is surprised by the findings. He says texting and driving is considerably hazardous and it is also illegal across Canada. ``This was a big surprise to us. `We know that this is a very hazardous behaviour and some of the reports in the literature suggest that texting while you're driving can increase your chances of being involved in a collision by about 20 times or more."
Interestingly, student surveys have also found that the percentage of students who reported drinking and driving has declined dramatically over the past 20 years.