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In a survey performed by the 2012 Traffic Safety Culture Index conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 69 percent of licensed drivers have disregarded safe driving and talked on a cell phone within the last month. The majority of other drivers–89 percent of respondents–believe that those who use their phone while driving are a threat to their safety on the road.

Driving drowsy, speeding, texting, and driving without a seat belt were some of the dangerous behaviors mentioned in the survey. “More work clearly is needed to educate motorists on the risks associated with using a cell phone while driving, especially given that most Americans believe this problem is becoming worse,” said Peter Kissinger, President and CEO of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

So what are the statistics of individuals using cell phones while driving engaging in other bad habits?

65 percent reported speeding, 44 percent reported driving drowsy, 53 percent reported texting and emailing, and 29 percent reported driving without a seatbelt. Even though these activities are dangerous, and the majority of the driving population is aware of the dangers, one-fourth of drivers reported sending a text or email at least once, and those who were between the ages of 16 and 24 doubled that with more than half reporting to texting.

Kathleen Bower, AAA vice president of public affairs said, “These same cell phone-using drivers clearly understand the risk of distraction, yet are still likely to engage in a wide range of dangerous driving activities.” How can cell phone use be better controlled while driving when laws are disregarded and safety factors are ignored?

39 states and the District of Columbia have accepted the traffic measure to ban texting, a piece of legislation launched by AAA, and the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety expects the remaining states to adopt the legislation this year.

Source: AAA

By Megan Stewart

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