New study shows more are texting & driving - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

New study shows more are texting & driving

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (KWWL) -

Texting while driving increase 50 percent during the past year, despite a push by states to ban the practice.  Two out of every 10 drivers admit to texting from behind the wheel, a spike that's highest among young adults.

The new data comes from an annual report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which examines drivers' behaviors by staking out selected stop lights and intersections to count people using cell phones and hand-held devices that allow them to text, view directions, check emails, surf the Internet, or play games. At any given time, just under 1 percent of drivers were texting or using hand-held devices in other ways.

The activity increased to 0.9 percent of drivers in 2010, up from 0.6 percent the year before.

"What's clear from all of the information we have is that driver distraction continues to be a major problem," NHTSA Administrator David Strickland said.

There were an estimated 3,092 deaths in crashes affected by distractions in 2010, the safety administration said.  That number was derived using a new methodology aimed at getting a more precise picture of distracted driving deaths and can't be compared to tallies from previous years.

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