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Survey Shows Half Of Michiganders Talk On Cell While Driving

LANSING (WWJ) – Drivers who are talking on cell phones are more likely to be involved in an accident. That’s the feeling of more than 80 percent of Michigan motorists in a new survey.

But, at the same time, more than half of those polled admit to making and accepting cell phone calls while driving. That jumps to 96 percent when asked about potential crash involvement for drivers who are texting or emailing while driving.

Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning spokesperson Lynn Sutfin said it’s a disconnect, but it also shows that even if you think you’re a safe driver, you must eliminate distractions so you can watch out for the other guy.

“A large part of that not being distracted behind the wheel is because you never know what’s going to happen. You don’t know if somebody’s going to walk from behind a parked car, you know, if someone in another lane’s going to do something unexpected,” said Sutfin.

“We want people to be aware that when you’re behind the wheel of a vehicle, your main purpose there is to be driving,” Sutfin said, adding that the report’s release coincides with National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

Nearly 4,000 crashes in Michigan in 2010 listed the driver as distracted. The survey also shows that young people are more likely to engage in distracted driving behaviors.

Meantime, to draw awareness to the issue, the Michigan State Police has released public service announcement to local TV stations, depicting distracted-driving crashes:

A copy of the survey results from the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning can be found at www.michigan.gov/ohsp

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