Study: Tennesseans text while driving - WKRN News 2

Study: Tennesseans text while driving

Tennessee has been ranked the second worst state for sending text-messages while driving, according to a new study out Wednesday.

The study was released by Common Knowledge Research Services for the Vlingo Corporation which surveyed 5,000 cell phone users across the nation.

In terms of the number of people who admitted to sending or receiving texts while driving, Tennessee ranked as the second worst state, second only to South Carolina.

Nine out of 10 adults agreed that texting while driving is dangerous, according to a Harris poll last year, but the new CKRS study said nationwide, almost 30% of people admit to texting while driving.

Teens aren't the only ones addicted to texting.

The study reports that 55% of all cell phone users now make use of their phone's texting capabilities.

Metro police said it's not just texting that can take a driver's eyes off the road.

Captain David Imhof, Metro police, said, "Anything that distracts a driver from paying attention to their surroundings and the road in front of them would be a very bad idea to do."

He said that includes actions such as looking at a map, texting or talking on the cell phone, looking through your CD collection, or putting on makeup while driving.

The study found Arizona, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire and Delaware had the smallest percentage of people who text while driving.

It also noted that while BlackBerry phones are becoming increasingly popular, 90% of people surveyed said they are still using cell phones with nine-button numeric pads to text, which is more complicated and takes drivers' eyes off the road longer.

It is still legal to type a text message while driving in Tennessee.

In March, the state House subcommittee killed legislation that would have banned texting while driving and carried a $50 fine.

Some Tennesseans say the law would have killed their livelihoods.

"It would actually kind of inhibit me from doing a lot of business and I guess communicating to people but I could definitely see the safety concerns people have about it... Definitely takes your attention away from driving," said Curtis Stanley, who admits to texting while driving.

Texting while driving, or DWT, is most dangerous on the interstates because speeds are much higher there than on the secondary roads.

Police urge drivers to just pull over to the side of the road or pull into a gas station if you need to talk on the phone or text a message.

That way, you can save your own life and somebody else's life by not taking a risk.

Visit www.KnoxNews.com to read more about the study.

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