High schoolers who text while driving are six times as likely to drink and drive compared to those who don't text while driving, according to a study published in Monday's edition of Pediatrics. The report, issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), finds that teen text-and-drivers have a tendency to engage in a number of risky activities while on the road.

"Considering it's against the law for teens to be texting while driving in 45 states, it's a little concerning," lead author Emily Olsen, a health statistician in the CDC's Division of Adolescent and School Health, told Reuters.

A survey of 8,505 kids over 16 found that about 45 percent texted while driving in 2011. Nearly one in 8 participated in the dangerous habit every day. Kids who text while driving were also less likely to wear a seatbelt.

The results are troubling given seven adolescents die every day from motor vehicle injuries, according the to the CDC. Crash risk is especially high for teens within the first month after receiving their license. In 2010, teen-related car accidents accounted for $26 billion of all motor vehicle injury costs.

Students who took the CDC survey were selected from public and private schools from across the country.

Similar findings were reported two weeks ago at the Pediatric Academic Societies' annual meeting in Washington, D.C. That study, which was not peer-reviewed, reported the likelihood of texting while driving increased with age: 26 percent of fifteen-year-olds, 33 percent of 16-year-olds, 46 percent of 17-year-olds, and 52 percent of 18-year-olds.

[via Reuters]

O'Malley Olsen E, Shults RA, Eaton DK. Texting While Driving and Other Risky Motor Vehicle Behaviors Among US High School Students. [published online ahead of print May 13, 2012]. Pediatrics. doi: 10.1542. Accessed May 13, 2013.