HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) -- A new survey says that over half of teens use cell phone while driving.
According to the Department of Public Health, More than half (53%) of teen drivers talked on a cell phone while driving at least once in the month before taking the 2011 Connecticut School Health Survey, administered to high school students across the state.
About half (51%) of teen drivers admitted texting or e-mailing while driving at least once in the month before taking the survey.
Other highly risky behaviors were also identified.
Nearly 10% of high school students rarely or never wore a seat belt as a passenger. One out of four students reported recently being a passenger of someone who had been drinking alcohol, and about one out of every 10 high school seniors reported drinking alcohol and driving in the past month.
"The school health survey findings show that many of our young drivers engage in behaviors that put them at even greater risk when they get behind the wheel," said Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Jewel Mullen.
The survey results also show an association between health risk behaviors and academic achievement.
Students who reported grades as being mostly Ds and Fs are:
- more than three-times as likely to report their health status as fair or poor;
- more than twice as likely to be current cigarette smokers;
- more than twice as likely to have smoked marijuana recently;
- more likely to have consumed alcohol recently; and
- more likely to report having a sad or depressed mood.
"The survey consistently links health behaviors to academic performance. Often poor health affects students' abilities to be successful in school," said Connecticut State Department of Education Chief Operating Officer Charlene Russell-Tucker.
In 2011, 4,299 middle and high school students completed the YTC and 2,058 youth completed the YBC.
Both components met the CDC's criteria to be considered representative of high school students in Connecticut (and middle school students for the YTC). To view more results from the Connecticut School Health Survey, please visit this website