Most young American drivers know it is dangerous to text while driving, but what the heck

Article by Christian Andrei, on May 9, 2012

Consumer Reports released a survey on the distractions of driving and found that almost one third of U.S. know that it’s not safe to text while driving but do it anyway. The survey found that about 8 from 10 know about the risks while 29% of drivers aged 16 to 21 said they had used text messaging in the past month 47% said they made a call while driving, without a headset or other hands-free device. In this same way, about 48% had seen one or both of their parents using a cell phone without a hands-free device. According to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, many were killed in "distracted-affected crashes," approximately 9.4% of all road deaths.

The NHTSA said that the details about its regulation have yet to be released. Last year, the overall number of highway fatalities declined by 1.7% to 32,885 -- the lowest figure since 1949. Rebecca Lindland, director of automotive research for IHS Inc., said that this figure would have dropped if not for traffic deaths as the result of drivers who were distracted by using a mobile phone or doing other types of attention-dividing tasks. She said that those aged 18 to 20 had the highest level of phone involvement in crashes or near-crashes.

The NHTSA survey also found out that drivers of this age are likely to read or send an email or text message while driving those 25 and older. The NHTSA say that the young drivers survey said they are less likely to text while driving or use a handheld phone while a friend is in the vehicle with them. A NHTSA observational study found that in the latest two years for which data was available, 2009 and 2010, 5% of drivers were seen talking on handheld phones. [source: Reuters]

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