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Study: many drivers not as concerned about texting while driving

Texting while driving continues to be a serious safety issue in the United States. Most drivers understand the risks of texting while driving, including the fact drivers who text behind the wheel are 23 times more likely to be in a car accident, according to the federal website for distracted driving. 

Despite knowing the dangers of texting while driving, many drivers across the country still do it. This could be due to more drivers thinking they can multi-task and still drive safely. Distracted driving couldn't be a bigger safety issue right now after the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that drivers are not as worried about distracted driving behaviors as they used to be.

The study found that drivers are less concerned about texting while driving, drowsy driving, drunk driving and aggressive now than they were in the past. Despite drivers not being as concerned about dangerous driving behaviors, they are still prevalent in our society and cause many car accidents every year.

The National Safety Council reported that more than 800,000 car accidents were caused by cellphone use and texting while driving this year alone. Distracted driving and cellphone use could be a main reason why traffic fatalities increased this last year by more than five percent, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This is the first time in seven years that fatal car accidents have increased in the U.S.

The increase in car accidents and use of technology behind the wheel is no coincidence. While many drivers know the risks of using a cellphone while driving, many don't think they will be involved in a crash. 

Unfortunately, thousands of people are injured every year in car accidents contributed to texting and cellphone use, and it's about time that these tragedies stop. All drivers need to be aware of the dangers of using a cellphone while driving, and automakers may need to take steps to reduce distractions for drivers, like disabling cellphone for drivers at least when the vehicle is in motion. 

Source: The Middleton Press, "More drivers driving distracted, AAA study says they don't care," Kaitlyn Schroyer, Oct. 17, 2013

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