AAA: Cell phone use leads to other dangerous driving habits


by Andrew Michalscheck

Video report by Dennis Welch, 3TV Political Editor

Posted on January 27, 2013 at 11:26 AM

Updated Sunday, Jan 27 at 12:26 PM

PHOENIX -- If you like making phone calls while you’re behind the wheel there’s a good chance you’re engaging in other dangerous activities.

A new national survey released by AAA Arizona found that 65 percent of people who use their cell phone while driving also speed.

Forty-four percent of cell phone users admitted to driving while drowsy, while 53 percent said they had sent a text or email while behind the wheel. Twenty-nine percent also confessed to driving without a seatbelt.

“As a safety advocate, AAA finds it concerning that the majority of motorists recognize distracted driving dangers, yet choose to engage in them anyway,” said Linda Gorman, director of communications and public affairs for AAA Arizona.

Gorman said that while the issue of distracted driving extends to all age groups, it’s particularly prevalent among younger motorists.

AAA’s research indicates that 82 percent of 16 and 17-year-old drivers admit to using a cell phone while driving.

Sixty-one percent of drivers between the ages of 16 and 24 admitted to reading a text or email while driving in the last month, while 26 percent confessed to checking or updating their social media accounts.

“With additional research that highlights the common use of cell phones among teen drivers, as well as awareness of the danger that this distraction poses to all road users, AAA urges Arizona lawmakers to make this issue a priority this session,” said Gorman.

Arizona residents can monitor the progress and take action on distracted driving bills by visiting AAA’s legislative action center.