A new study by Nationwide Insurance found that U.S. drivers are largely in favor of laws that would restrict the use of cell phones -- for texting, e-mail, and talking -- in cars. The results are pretty interesting when you consider that most states aren't doing all that much to stop distracted driving.
The survey of 1,008 adults was conducted in early August. Among the findings:
• 80 percent of respondents support a ban on text messaging while driving.
• 80 percent of respondents support a ban on e-mailing while driving.
• 67 percent of respondents say they are supportive of laws restricting phone calls while driving.
Nationwide's safety officer, Bill Windsor, said the survey should bolster the arguments of those who have been pushing for more laws targeting cell phone use by drivers.
At present, no state bans cell phone use by drivers. Half a dozen required drivers to use hands-free devices.And only 18 states, including Illinois, ban text messaging by drivers. In Missouri, only divers under 21 are barred from texting while driving.
"The new information in this survey also indicates that many drivers are either in denial about their DWD habits or resistant to changing their behavior," said Windsor. "This suggests that legislation may not be enough to eliminate distracted driving and highlights the need for a technological solution that can prevent cell phone usage in moving vehicles while still allowing people to stay connected."
(c) 2009, St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
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