Speeding, drowsy drivers palm cell phones

An Albany driver talks on the phone as he drives a car. / Jessica Fairley

A new study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reveals cell phone users are more likely to engage in dangerous behavior while behind the wheel.

Most drivers are informed about the dangers of texting behind the wheel, but officials say even a simple phone conversation could lead to risky behavior.

In the new study, 29 percent of drivers who regularly used their cell phones on the road forgot their seatbelts, 44 percent drove while drowsy, and 65 percent were known to speed.

Texting and driving is another risk that drivers admit to in the survey.

"It definitely slows down the way I'm thinking because as I'm texting, I'm thinking about all the texts I'm going to write. So I'm not really thinking about all the other things going on at the moment," said Arthur Hinton, an Albany driver.

According to AAA, 90 percent of people surveyed revealed that although distracted driving is a growing problem, they still continue to take the risk.

It's something Miriam Maddox, a mother of three, says she'll keep in mind as her children age.

"It's not even likely that they'll even have a phone and if they do have a phone they won't have the ability to text," said Miriam Maddox.

She says although you can't change what others do in their cars; you can put down your phone and drive defensively to avoid problems.

In the AAA survey, drivers who reported never using their cell phone while driving were less likely to report risky behavior behind the wheel.

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