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Teen Health

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Teens Safer Behind Wheel, but Too Many Texting

Texts and Emails Can Cause Deadly Distractions

The Good and the Bad

Here is a selection of the report's findings:

  • 87.5% of teen bicyclists rarely or never wear helmets.
  • Nearly 10% of teens had been physically abused by a boyfriend or girlfriend.
  • Eight percent had been forced to have sex.
  • One out of five students had been bullied at school.
  • Nearly 16% of students had considered suicide, and nearly 8% attempted suicide in the previous 12 months.
  • Eighteen percent of students said they had smoked cigarettes in the previous month. Twenty-three percent had smoked marijuana.
  • Nearly 40% of teens report drinking alcohol recently, compared to 50% 10 years ago.
  • One in five students had taken prescription drugs such as Ritalin and OxyContin without a prescription.
  • One-third of students report being sexually active. Sixty percent of them use condoms. About 13% use no protection at all.
  • Thirteen percent of students missed breakfast every day in the seven days prior to the survey.
  • Just under 50% of students got 60 or more minutes of exercise five days a week.
  • The number of teens who have had asthma rose from 18.9% to 23% between 2003 and 2011. About 12% say they have it now.
  • About 11% of teens report regularly using sunscreen, while 13% have used an indoor tanning bed at least once over the past year.


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