Gov't study: Texting by drivers up by half in 2010 - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Gov't study: Texting by drivers up by half in 2010

By JOAN LOWY
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - New federal safety data shows texting while driving increased 50% last year, despite a rush by states to ban the practice.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does an annual survey that watches drivers' behavior at selected intersections. The latest study caught less than 1% texting or manipulating hand-held devices. But it shows that activity increased to 0.9% last year, up from 0.6% the year before.

The share of drivers speaking in headsets also increased, although hand-held cellphone use remained flat.

The increase in texting while driving came despite bans on the practice in many states. Last month, Pennsylvania became the 35th state to impose a ban.

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