AAA: Driver use of cell phones widespread

About 70 percent of U.S. drivers confess to recently using a cell phone while behind the wheel, a new survey suggests. About 1 in 3 of drivers say they use the cell phones "fairly often or regularly," according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The group cited a "culture of indifference" toward unsafe driving behaviors. Just over 42 percent of the drivers self-reported reading a text or email while driving within the past 30 days. Nearly 1 in 3 admitted to typing or sending a text or email, the AAA report says. An overwhelming number of the drivers said, nonetheless, that … [Read more...]

Nine states flagged for texting laws

An annual survey of highway safety laws gigs nine states for having ineffective distracted driving laws. Six of those receive overall "red" ratings for anemic safety laws. A majority of the states gigged as falling "dangerously behind in adoption of key safety laws" were lacking texting and driving laws with full enforcement. Those "red" states are Arizona, Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota, Iowa and Florida. "People are needlessly dying on our streets and roads while state elected leaders are needlessly delaying enactment of lifesaving laws," group President Jacqueline Gillan … [Read more...]

Survey: Distractions still on the rise

Drivers continue to reduce their use of handheld cell phones for talking, while text messaging is on the rise, according to a nationwide survey. The annual survey sponsored by State Farm also found year-to-year increases in usage of the Internet and, specifically, social network web sites. Among drivers 18-29, however, increases in electronic communications activity were found from 2014 to 2015 in cell phone talking, texting, GPS programming, the Internet and social media. "Younger age groups perceive many of these behaviors as less distracting and report being more likely to … [Read more...]

Tech hangover for drivers cited

The process of "readjusting to the task of driving" after using wireless communications devices presents a "hidden and pervasive danger," according to a AAA report. Researchers found that driver distractions can persist for almost a half minute after use of some cell phones and in-vehicle information systems. The AAA said its study reveals that hands-free technologies such as in-vehicle voice-activated systems can distract drivers "even if their eyes are on the road and their hands are on the wheel." "The results indicate that motorists could miss stop signs, pedestrians and other … [Read more...]

California: 10% of drivers on phone

California's Office of Traffic Safety reports a "shocking" increase in use of cell phones by state drivers. The OTS and Highway Patrol released a study July 14 suggesting a 39 percent increase in the percentage of California drivers using the wireless devices. Results showed almost 10 percent of drivers -- 9.2 percent -- were using cell phones while behind the wheel. Not all uses reported were in violation of state law, however. More than 3 percent of the drivers were employing headsets and/or Bluetooth devices, which is legal in California and all other states with restrictions on … [Read more...]