Poll shows 30 percent of young drivers text at the wheel

LOS ANGELES Mon Mar 7, 2011 9:32pm EST

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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A new poll shows young drivers are more likely to use cell phones while driving, and that 30 percent of them have recently texted from behind the wheel, transportation officials said on Monday.

The release of the poll came as Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood called distracted driving "a deadly epidemic."

The poll comes from the magazine Consumer Reports, which is working with the Department of Transportation on creating awareness about the dangers of cell phone use while driving.

Among the findings are that 63 percent of respondents under 30-years-old reported using a handheld phone while driving in the past 30 days, the Department of Transportation said.

And 30 percent of the drivers texted from behind the wheel in the same time period according to the survey, which had a total of 1,026 respondents.

Older drivers were less likely to talk on the phone behind the wheel, and only 9 percent of those over 30 years-old reported they had recently texted while driving.

LaHood, appearing at the Yonkers, New York, headquarters of Consumer Reports, said teens are more likely to drive distracted because of peer pressure.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Dan Whitcomb and Jerry Norton)

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Comments (4)
ChicagoDad wrote:
Has anyone ever considered why people drive distracted, especially on highways? My hypothesis is that speed limits in America are so absurdly low that it only takes 20% of a person’s attention most of the time. People get distracted for the same reason that they fall asleep at the wheel. Within reason, faster drivers are usually safer drivers because they are engaged in the job of driving the car.

Mar 07, 2011 10:00pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Htos1 wrote:
While a small percentage may master this behavior,please don’t do it.

Mar 07, 2011 10:23pm EST  --  Report as abuse
GonerSinger wrote:
I have been texting while driving for at least the last 5 years. I have never had an accident while texting. I think the dangers are greatly exagerrated. Using the same logic as those who wish to outlaw the practice, we should also outlaw car stereo systems and talking while in a moving vehicle. Also, why is it perfectly acceptable for police officers to type on computers while driving, but it’s not okay for ordinary citizens to do so? Text and drive. Yes you, do it today.

Mar 08, 2011 3:18am EST  --  Report as abuse
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