For all the criticism and new legal bans, texting by drivers keeps increasing, especially among younger motorists, the Associated Presss reports. About half of U.S. drivers between 21 and 24 say they've thumbed messages or emailed from the driver's seat. Many drivers don't think it's dangerous when they do it — only when others do.
The first federal survey on distracted driving, released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, shows the difficulty authorities face in discouraging texting and cellphone talking while driving. At any moment last year on U.S. roads, nearly one in 100 drivers was texting, e-mailing, surfing the WEb or otherwise using a hand-held electronic device. Those activities rose 50 percent over the previous year even as states rushed to ban them. Last year there were an estimated 3,092 deaths in crashes affected by driver distractions.