COLUMBUS -- More adults than ever are admitting to texting while driving, despite 98 percent saying they realize the dangers of doing so.
A new AT&T poll reveals 49 percent of adult drivers admit to texting while driving. That number, according to the survey, is higher than the number of teens -- 43 percent -- who have confessed to the behavior.
When compared with three years ago, the poll shows six in 10 drivers say they never texted behind the wheel.
Ohio is one of many to issue a statewide ban on texting while driving, whichrecently went into effect (see its impact by clicking through the photo story at the top of this page).
"Texting while driving is the most dangerous form of distracted driving; it takes a driver's eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, and mind off the task of driving for an extended period of time," says Kimberly Schwind, Public Relations Manager for AAA Ohio. "It will take our combined and concerted efforts to stop the rampant spread of texting behind the wheel."
Other stats regarding teen drivers from the AT&T poll shows that 60 percent admit to texting while at a red light, 61 percent admit to glancing at their phone while driving and 73 percent admit to glancing at their phone while stopped at a red light.
"Distracted driving is an epidemic on our roadways, and we need people all across Ohio to take action in their communities to help put a stop to it," said Colonel John Born, Ohio State Highway Patrol superintendent.
As a result of the findings, more attention is being pushed toward businesses to join more than 165 organizations already engaged in the Texting & Driving - It Can Wait movement.
"Businesses can help keep their employees and others on the road safe by encouraging responsible behavior behind the wheel, including obeying all laws related to the use of electronic devices," said U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue. "We also encourage all businesses to consider joining the 'It Can Wait' movement to end texting while driving. Together we can help turn the tide on this serious issue."
More than 1.3 million personal commitments never to text and drive have been made at ItCanWait.com, through Facebook, text-to-pledge, tweet-to-pledge or at events.
"Through the It Can Wait movement, AT&T is collaborating with employers, nonprofits, law enforcement, educators, legislators, professional associations and government agencies nationwide," says AT&T Senior Executive Vice President and Global Marketing Officer Cathy Coughlin. "I'm confident, together we can save lives by encouraging millions more to make the personal commitment never to text and drive."