August 26, 2009

Texting-while-driving increases in Wash.

Studies show texting is the worst driving distraction but a survey in Washington indicates more people in the state say they text while driving.

A survey by Pemco Insurance in Seattle, conduct in June, reveals 18 percent of drivers in Washington state who use electronic devices admit to reading or sending text messages while driving.

We're concerned about this trend, especially since many young drivers are part of a generation that uses texting so heavily, Pemco spokesman Jon Osterberg says in a statement.

The survey also says 45 percent of those polled are more concerned with the driving distractions caused by text messaging than other distractions -- such as talking on a cell phone, speeding or driving while tired -- in contrast to the 32 percent of drivers who reported their concern for texting in 2008.

The survey says 94 percent of respondents say they know using a cell phone behind the wheel is against the law

It's peculiar that while more drivers think texting is dangerous, more drivers are willing to endanger themselves and those around them by tapping out a message, Osterberg says.

The survey of 601 U.S. adults has a margin of error of plus/minus 4.1 percentage points.