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Most U.S. Drivers Engage in 'Distracting' Behaviors: Poll
Date:11/30/2011

ths from 2001 to 2007. The study, published in the American Journal of Public Health, also found that auto deaths involving cell phones and texting while driving rose 28 percent between 2005 and 2008.

According to the new online poll, which surveyed more than 2,800 U.S. adults between Nov. 10 to 14, distracted driving isn't just limited to cellphone use. Other major distractions include:

  • Eating/drinking: 86 percent said they had done it at some point, and 57 percent said they do it "often or sometimes."
  • Setting/changing GPS: 41 percent have ever done it while at the wheel, while 21 percent do it more frequently.
  • Sending/receiving text messages: 37 percent have done so, and 18 percent do it regularly.
  • Reading a map: 36 percent admitted doing so, and 10 percent do it often or sometimes.
  • Combing/styling hair: one in five drivers acknowledged doing this at least once; nearly 1 in 10 does it more regularly.
  • Applying makeup: 14 percent have done it at least once, 7 percent say they do it frequently.
  • Surfing the Internet: 13 percent have done so while driving, and 9 percent do it often/sometimes.
  • Watching videos (on a mobile device or in-board system): 7 percent say they do this "often or sometimes."

Certain drivers were more apt to indulge in risky distractions than others, the poll found. For example, drivers over the age of 65 were less likely than their younger counterparts to engage in distracting behaviors. And when it came to gender, men were more likely than women to drive while drowsy, consult a GPS navigation system, look at maps, drive after drinking alcohol, surf the 'Net or watch videos.

The survey also turned up a puzzling disconnect: While big percentages of drivers agree that distracting behaviors are dangerous, many still engage in them.

For example, 77 percent thought that texting increases th
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