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Originally published Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 8:55 PM

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Drivers keep right on texting, phoning, survey finds

The new AAA survey of 2,325 drivers found that 26 percent of drivers said they text while behind the wheel, and 6 percent said they did so frequently.

The Washington Post

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WASHINGTON — Only 1 percent of drivers older than 75 say they text while behind the wheel, but more than 40 percent of people between 19 and 39 years old say they text while they drive, and 10 percent of them say they do it regularly.

More than half of those in a new survey by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety say they talk on their cellphones while driving.

Drivers using a phone roughly quadruple their risk of a crash, said Jake Nelson, AAA director of traffic safety advocacy and research.

The number of roadway deaths linked to distracted driving in 2012 dropped slightly to 3,328, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

That’s 32 fewer than in 2011, when NHTSA said distracted driving was to blame for 10 percent of all crashes and 387,000 injuries.

It has been estimated that at any moment during daylight hours, 660,000 Americans use electronic devices while driving. And most people say they recognize the risk posed by distracted driving.

Sixty-seven percent said they talk on their phones while driving, 28 percent of them regularly.

The 16- to 18-year-old group talked less on their phones while behind the wheel than any other group younger than 60 and were less likely to text than drivers between ages 19 and 39.

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