Survey: Adults more of a texting-while-driving problem than teens

Headline Goes Here Ferre Dollar/CNN

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Adults are a bigger problem than teenagers in the U.S. when it comes to texting while driving problem in the U.S., according to an AT&T survey.

Not only that, but more than 98 percent of adults admit it's wrong, the survey says.

According to the survey, nearly half of adults admit to texting while driving. Compare that to 43 percent of teenagers.

"I have texted and driven, but usually I'll use the voice activation now because my daughter got after me about it and it is wrong," driver Chris Diedrich said.

Six in 10 adults say they weren't texting and driving just three years ago.

Thirty-nine states and Washington D.C. ban texting while driving for all drivers, and an additional five states prohibit the practice for new drivers. AAA is hoping Florida will one day make texting and driving illegal. A bill to do just that goes before the Legislature in the next few weeks.

"I think what's happening now is that we are trying to bring new stats and making our case even stronger for why it should be passed," insurance manager Dina Aurora Watson said.

For perspective, here are some of the numbers:

The National Safety Council says there are around 10 million teens texting on the roadways, but about 180 million adult drivers.

And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found 31 percent of drivers in the U.S. reported texting or emailing while driving.

The AT&T survey found each day an average of more than nine people are killed and more than 1,000 are injured in crashes caused by distracted driving.

In 2011, more than 3,300 people died in crashes involving a distracted driver, up from around 3,200 in 2010.

"I've tried texting and I noticed myself swerving into other lanes, and so there is no way I would do it," driver Gail Kelly said.

Texting while driving is considered the most dangerous form of distraction because it involves the eyes, the hands and the mind. Researchers found that sending or receiving a text takes a driver's eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds -- about as long as it takes to drive the length of a football field at 55 mph.

"It just takes one spilt second for you to have someone in front of you that you didn't have before," Watson said.

Texting creates a crash risk 23 times worse than driving while not distracted.

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