Nearly 50 per cent of grade 12 students in Ontario report texting while driving

Toronto, Ontario — July 9, 2014 — An ongoing survey of Ontario students in grades seven to 12 conducted for the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) reveals a number of significant behavioural trends, including an alarming number of young people who are texting while driving.

According to the 2013 Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey (OSDUHS) Mental Health and Well-Being Report , over one-third of licensed Ontario students in grades 10 to 12 – an estimated 108,000 adolescent drivers – report texting while driving at least once in the past year, with 46 per cent of licensed students in grade 12 reporting this behaviour.
 
The OSDUHS is a bi-annual survey that reveals important trends in mental and physical health and risk behaviours among Ontario’s middle and high school students.
 
“We asked about texting while driving because research shows that this is a very hazardous behaviour,” said Dr. Robert Mann, CAMH Senior Scientist and Principal Investigator. “We were surprised to find that so many young people are taking this risk.” 

Another new indicator in the survey found that up to 79 per cent of bicyclists in this age group report they do not always wear a helmet and 53 per cent report rarely or never wearing a helmet.
 
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