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by Tim Beissmann

A study into distracted driving in the US has found that adults use their mobile phones while behind the wheel more often than tech-obsessed teenagers.

The Adults and cell phone distractions survey, conducted as part of the Pew Internet & American Life Project, found that 61 percent of all adults in the US have talked on a mobile while driving compared with 43 percent of 16 to 17 year olds.

Member of Gen-X were the most likely talk while driving, with 86 percent admitting to doing so. Comparing genders, 78 percent of mobile-owning men said they had talked on the phone while driving, six percent more than mobile-owning females.

Almost half (47 percent) of those adults who use their phones to text admitted to having sent or read a text message while driving, compared with 34 percent (or one in three) teens who have texted behind the wheel.

Drivers aged between 18 and 33 were the most likely to text while driving (59 percent), while men were almost 10 percent more likely to text than women (51 percent vs 42 percent).

The report reinforced the findings of previous studies which have shown that drivers using phones are four times more likely to cause a crash than other drivers.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration revealed that in 2008 police reported 5870 fatalities and approximately 515,000 injuries as a result of driver distraction.

To combat this, the use of handheld phones while driving is now banned in seven states and the District of Columbia, while 28 states have banned texting while driving.




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