AAA says half of all driver use cellphones behind the wheel

The AAA Foundation found through its Traffic Safety Culture survey that 88 percent of drivers believe distracted driving is on the rise. That places the behavior ahead of aggressive driving (68 percent), driving under the influence of drugs (55 percent) and drunk driving (43 percent) among drivers’ concerns.

Yet the majority of drivers engage in the behavior themselves, according to AAA Mid-Atlantic. The survey showed that 50 percent talk on hand-held phones while driving, and 35 percent text and drive.

“What we have seen year after year is this ‘do as I say, not as I do’ behavior, a sense that ‘I can text but you can’t,’ which is extremely troubling,” said Ken Grant, manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic.

Delaware State Police reported there were 6,095 crashes where distracted driving contributed in 2016. That’s 23 percent of the total crashes in that year.

“The intention of the Traffic Safety Culture survey is to better understand drivers’ perceptions and attitudes towards risky behaviors, so we can figure out the best possible way to address those issues and reduce crashes,” Grant said. “With more than 37,000 fatal crashes nationwide every year, we’ve got to do everything we can to save more lives.”

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