Distracted driving tops the list of growing worries for motorists, according to a new survey from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
It shows 88 percent of drivers believe distracted driving is on the rise. It surpasses drivers’ fears about other dangers such as aggressive, drunk, and drugged driving.
The number of drivers who report using a cell phone behind the wheel has jumped 30 percent since 2013. Forty-nine percent of drivers report recently talking on a hand-held phone while driving and nearly 35 percent have sent a text or email.
Despite their behavior, nearly 58 percent of drivers say talking on a cell phone behind the wheel is a very serious threat to their personal safety, while 78 percent believe that texting is a significant danger.
A recent study from the AAA Foundation shows drivers talking on a cell phone are up to four times as likely to crash while those who text are up to eight times as likely to be involved in a crash.
Federal estimates show the number of distracted driving crashes has actually dropped two percent in the past three years. This may be because it is difficult to detect distraction following a crash which makes distracted driving one of the most under-reported traffic safety issues, according to AAA.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that more than 37,000 people were killed on U.S. roads in 2016.