• Jun 23, 2014
Roughly one-fourth of Millennials admitted to frequentl... Roughly one-fourth of Millennials admitted to frequently talking on a cell phone while behind the wheel (Shutterstock).
Americans are behaving badly while driving, and they know it. A new Harris Poll found the vast majority of Americans recognize the dangers of drunk driving, texting while driving and other distractions, but many still engage in these activities anyway.

According to the poll, nearly all Americans (94 percent) believe drinking three or more drinks then driving is dangerous or very dangerous. Buzzed driving didn't get a pass either: Sixty-eight percent of Americans believe driving after one or two drinks is still a hazard. Still, 37 percent of those surveyed who drink alcohol say they've driven when they knew they probably had too much. Three in ten agreed that they are more likely to get behind the wheel after a few drinks if they only have to drive a short distance.

Texting spurred similar reactions, with 94 percent believing that sending texts while driving is dangerous and 91 percent believing that reading texts while driving is dangerous or very dangerous. Even though texting while driving is known to be highly risky, 45 percent have read texts (15 percent frequently doing so) and 37 percent admitted to sending a text (14 percent doing so frequently) while behind the wheel. Two-thirds of people surveyed said speaking on the phone is dangerous, but only 36 percent said using a hands free device is just as dangerous.

Millennials were the worst offenders in the study. Roughly one-fourth of drivers from this generation admitted to frequently talking on a cell phone, sending text messages and writing text messages while driving. To be fair, previous studies have suggested that parents may be just as guilty of this risky behavior as the younger generations.

Some other scary distractions drivers have copped to: One in four admitted to engaging in personal grooming while driving, another quarter said they posted to social media, 19 percent said they have read a book, magazine or newspaper and 13 percent have watched a video on a smartphone or tablet while behind the wheel.



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  • 75 Comments
      mymajor1
      • 6 Months Ago
      We now have automobiles that 'anticipate road danger ahead' (e.g Lexus) and cars with 'Auto Assist Parking' (e.g. Audi). So, why can't either the cellphone companies and/or car manufacturers develop a way to deactivate cell phones, with exception to 911 emergency calls? I'm only giving a suggestion...not that this will ever happen, and I know some people will probably shoot this down...but it was just my thoughts. We lost a friend to someone who was texting while driving.
        T Rock
        • 6 Months Ago
        @mymajor1
        The new tech in cars just makes people lazier- besides if you drift out of your lane and cause an accident YOU are at fault! Do you really think the cop will give your car a ticket for failing to maintain your lane? You still get the ticket when your car auto parks in the wrong spot!
        englishman545
        • 6 Months Ago
        @mymajor1
        Yes the automakers are adding more computer assisted driving controls, before you purchase a car with computer assited controls watch the movie 2001!
      jktkw
      • 6 Months Ago
      hey, if they want to risk their own lives...fine, but this type of driving risks EVERYONE
      lackbeery
      • 6 Months Ago
      Texting seems to be a growing addiction---people have been turned into moranic robots who the minute they " hear that bell" need to answer it weather it kills someone or even themselves----we need some really sharp teeth in these laws. My nephew at age 13 was murdered by a drinking driver who had more DWI's in his life then I can remember----but this new kind of idiot is just as bad.
        merstockgto
        • 5 Months Ago
        @lackbeery
        Now besides DUi (alcohol) we have pot, a new danger for drivers while driving stoned. Add phones and texting is a recipe for disaster. It just gets worse. People, get rid of your pacifiers.
      animal2605
      • 6 Months Ago
      I see it a lot, where cars are weaving on the road and if you get close enough to get a look, they are on their phones. Whether dialing a number or texting. Many times I was almost rear ended or hit head on because of this kind of thing.
        T Rock
        • 6 Months Ago
        @animal2605
        so get rear ended, they learn the danger of their actions and you get a new car
      Tommy
      • 6 Months Ago
      I see another form of distracted driving in my berg, all the time, evidently with no legal ramifications. Allowing your pet dog to roam untethered in the car, and usually on the lap of the driver. Go figure. A lady was driving the other day (quite erratically) with three in the back seat, three in the rear hatch, and two in the front - one on her lap. Before you animal rights activists try to crucify me, please consider the safety of an untethered animal in a moving vehicle, and how they also need to be kept tethered in the back seat same as your children.
        Lani Burch
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Tommy
        About 30 years ago, my Labrador was riding in the very back of my van. She had been trained to stay there, Until I had to come to a very sudden stop. At that point, the 80 lb. dog flew through the van and landed on the floor by the front passenger seat. Physically, she was fine, but I had quite a struggle to get her back into the area where she should have been. Next stop? A major pet store to buy a tie down strap, designed to restrain dogs in the bed of a pickup truck. My husband put some sturdy eye-bolts on either side of the back seat walls. We hooked the strap up and she rode hooked up to it from that time on. Since then, every dog we have owned has their own seat belt and obediently waits for it to be hooked to their harness that has been selected for strength and a D ring on the lower part of it so as not to strangle the pup. Currently we have two straps of different types as one of our dogs is a Lab and the other is a Pug. People's dogs can be their children in their eyes. We are required to 'buckle up" our children. Why not our pups? PS Our cat carrier gets anchored down in the car, also.
      lpengrg
      • 6 Months Ago
      All states should make the penalties for texting the same as DUI and allow the police to check cell phone records the same as they can do a sobriety check.
        gvette75
        • 6 Months Ago
        @lpengrg
        Another ******* liberal! Hopefully they will find a cure for it some day!
      eareadjr
      • 6 Months Ago
      Stop drunks from writing, administering, and enforcing drug laws.
      car nut
      • 6 Months Ago
      I have always texted while driving and will continue. Its just someones opinion on being dangerous. The percentage of people that die from texting is so small, its another "political attempt" to take our freedom away, or someones personnal mission. Really people, look at how many drivers are on the roads and look at the deaths caused by texting. You can't save everyone no matter what you ban or make illegal. I understand families being mad because someone caused their family to die from texting but punish the offender, not the innocent. We are suppose to all be innocent until proven guilty. Until I cause an accident, you can't prove or say that my texting is going to kill someone. You have more of a chance of being killed under 30 mph within 1 mile of your home than from a texting driver! Facts are twisted in every way to meet what they want you to believe. Don't take every ones rights away when they haven't caused anyone to get hurt or die from texting. If you can't do two things at once, you don't need to be driving anyway! Besides, many laws are on the books already to cover things like this!! Its called reckless driving, careless driving, improper use of drive gear, and so on. Use the current laws and quit adding laws to take every little thing away from everyone. ____________________ IF YOU DON'T LIKE FREEDOM THEN MOVE!!!!!____________________
        Anne
        • 6 Months Ago
        @car nut
        You could also subscribe to use a voice to text service, which would keep your hands on the wheel. Most new phones out there have voice command functionality. Laws are in place for a reason, bylaws and subsections get added on because of people like you. P.S. You can also now be ticketed, fined and/or arrested for admitting your multiple crimes and intent to continue the behavior on a VERY public forum. Food for thought.
        abourge458
        • 6 Months Ago
        @car nut
        Car nut. You say most accidents are under 30 MPH and within 1 mile of my home? THAT"S IT! >>>>>>>>>> I'M MOVING! AND...I'll drive over 30 MPH all the time!
        abourge458
        • 6 Months Ago
        @car nut
        YOU KEEP TEXTING AWAY CAR NUT. After all..... How far can your car go in 1 second or 2 seconds while your looking away that little? --------------- Hmmmmm, at 60MPH that's only uh..........>>>>>>> 88 feet in one second? HUH? THat can't be right. Let's try 2 seconds. 60MPH = 1 mile per minute. 1 mile=5280 feet divided by 60 seconds= 88 per second. 88X2= 176 feet in 2 seconds? I can go a city block in 2 seconds? Hmmm, I usually do about 75 MPH on the Highway though. Hope all those fools and idiots that keep getting in my way ain't around when I'm texting. If I dawdle a bit more to read a long sentence, say FOUR seconds, I go 352 feet? MORE THAN A FOOTBALL FIELD? No problem! I'll just make sure I'm at least 353 feet behind all the traffic.
        • 6 Months Ago
        @car nut
        Car Nut you only thinking about yourself. I believe it is possible for people to handle the task of driving and texting at the same time but a large percentage of people cannot. Just because they can't handle driving and texting will not stop states from issuing them driver’s license. It is causing deaths each day around the world and it needs to stop. Is it so important for you to send a text while you are driving? Would it really take that much time out of your busy day to pull over and send the text? Until you cause an accident you don't want to stop and don't feel as you should have to. You don't want your rights taken away but you are willing to take the chance of taking someone's life away. Accidents do happen and by texting you are only increasing the chances of that accident happening. What if that one accident you cause would be the death of your own family member? I guess then it would be a good time to stop after spending the next 15 years in jail. I believed that it wasn't that big of a problem until someone very close to me was killed by a driver who was texting and driving. Not only was my family affected but the family of the driver who was a faults family is also suffering losing their 20 year old son for the next 15 years in prison. I have changed my ways and I believe that everyone can change. We all just need to slow down in this fast pace world and do things responsibly and take other people’s lives into consideration before we act. Life is short and very precious and it can be taken away with the blink of an eye. Keeping your eyes on the road and not on your phone will save lives and terrible hardship for families that you may possibly affect. Do it safely or not at all.
        • 6 Months Ago
        @car nut
        car nut -- what kind of drugs are you on??? You said, "IF YOU DON'T LIKE FREEDOM, THEN MOVE!" Move where? Every civilized nation enacts laws to protect people from idiots like you who have no common sense. Nice of you to "understand families being mad because someone caused their family to die from texting". "Mad?" Try devastated! Hope no one in your family is KILLED by a texting or drunk driver. Maybe then you won't think they have the "right" to drive distracted. If you can't understand the dangers of driving distracted, you must have been too busy texting during drivers ed. Did you miss the part where a car going 65 mph travels 95 feet in 1 second? Or a car going 35 mph travels 55 feet in 1 second? It doesn't take a genius to realize that taking your eyes off the road to text for 2-3 seconds is VERY dangerous. Good luck to you. Perhaps you'll win a Darwin Award for stupidity causing your own death, and thus removing your stupid genes from the collective gene pool.
      Linda
      • 6 Months Ago
      They have no respect for life. They are putting others at risk because they are selfish. Anyone caught not paying attention while driving should have their license permanently revoked. If they are caught driving without a license, they should be fined $75,000. If they don't pay it, they go to jail. No games while doing something SO SERIOUS as driving a car. They are worse than a red headed step child acting out.
      stocky84
      • 6 Months Ago
      Simply make the dang phones so texts cannot be sent or received when the phone is moving!
        Lettybits
        • 6 Months Ago
        @stocky84
        That's just plain silly. Then they wouldn't work if you were walking and texting.
      n1khb
      • 6 Months Ago
      It's always been the driver's foremost responsibility to maintain safe control of the vehicle. Simple enough on it's own both in concept and execution. There have been statutes concerning this point on the books forever. Those laws need to be enforced. We don't really need any more laws to enforce the same original need for that control. If you read, apply makeup, text, or eat fried chicken, it's all the same. Do it if you want in my opinion, but know that you will still be held rsponsible if something goes wrong. A new anti texting or phone law doesn't change anything. It only makes the folks at the state capitol feel like (and make it appear to the constituents) they did something, while in fact they accomplished nothing that hasn't already been covered by previous, if older, legislation.
      • 5 Months Ago
      Hello and Happy 4TH to Everybody -I have a solution to this problem of texting while driving -My company is called SafeTXT - can be seen at www.SafeTXT.us.com -My partner and I feel the same way as we both have a large family with lots of young drivers (some not so young) and see this everyday. We want to encode the phones with software that once the car is moving 10mph all the incoming and outgoing texting stops -it will shut down for 3-5 minutes -after this the phone goes back to normal functions -AND if they try to bypass it -it will forward a DELETE code -LETS STOP THIS -PLEASE VISIT -www.SafeTXT.us.com
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