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Poll Shows Most U.S. Drivers Engage in Distracting Behaviors

December 05, 2011

NORWALK, CT – A new poll from Harris Interactive and HealthDay shows Americans admit to a wide range of behaviors that distract them while driving. According to the poll, 86% of adults admitted to eating or drinking while driving, 59% talk on a non-hands-free cell phone, 41% set or adjust a GPS device, and 37% send text messages.

Other common distractions include: reading a map (36%, 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% have done this at least once, 7% say they do it frequently); surfing the Internet (13% have done so while driving, 9% do it often/sometimes); watching videos (on a mobile device or in-board system, 7% say they do this "often or sometimes").

The survey also showed that although drivers agree that distracting behaviors are dangerous, many still engage in them.

"The number of drivers who engage in potentially dangerous, in some cases extremely dangerous, behaviors while driving is terrifyingly high, particularly when you remember that every 1 percent of drivers polled represents more than one-and-three-quarters of a million people," said Humphrey Taylor, chairman of The Harris Poll.

The poll included 2,810 U.S adults over age 18 who were surveyed online between November 10 to 14, 2011, by Harris Interactive and HealthDay.

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