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CNN.com Reports: Cell Phones Not Top Distraction

August 7, 2003

According to CNN.com and Patty Davis, a study found that nearly all U.S. drivers are distracted at some point behind the wheel. The study, prepared by University of North Carolina researchers for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, used cameras placed inside the cars of 70 volunteers to watch their driving behavior, reported Davis. Results gathered from a randomly selected three-hour span for each driver indicate that, despite the emphasis in recent months on the dangers of driving and talking on cell phones -- those phones are not the top distraction. According to CNN.com, reaching and leaning inside the car is the most common distraction: More than 97 percent of drivers do it, according to the study. In addition, the study found 91.4 percent manipulate the car radio; 71.4 percent eat and drink, and 77.1 percent talk with a passenger. Only 30 percent use cell phones while driving, the report says, according to Davis. "When you think about the fact that there's an excess of 42,000 people who die on our highways every year, if 25 percent of those accidents are caused by distraction, if we could address that problem we could substantially reduce the number of casualties," says AAA President and CEO Robert Darbelnet, as reported by CNN.com.
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