The good news, announced last fall, is that, nationally, teenage drinking and driving has declined by 54 percent since 1991. The bad news is that teens have moved from DWI to TWD - texting while driving.
Parents, it's time for one of those Cyber Age talks. Here are the facts:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 2,700 teenagers in the United States die each year under the influence of alcohol and another 282,000 are treated in emergency rooms for injuries from motor vehicle crashes.
But a team of investigators from Cohen Children's Medical Center in New Hyde Park, N.Y., estimates that more than 3,000 teens die each year from texting-related crashes and another 300,000 are injured.
And the older kids are, the more likely they are to text while driving.
Dr. Andrew Adesman of the Cohen team said researchers found that only 24 percent of 15-year-olds texted while driving. Among 18-year-olds, 58 percent did.
"Fifty percent of high school students of driving age acknowledge texting while driving," said Adesman, an expert in teen behavior.
As for the difference laws make, "When we compared states where there are no laws in effect (barring texting while operating a moving vehicle) and states where there are laws on the books, we found there was no difference in their responses," he said.
"Clearly, the laws are not effective."
That leaves parents, who can be.