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AAA: Michigan Drivers Rank Texting As Top Distracted Driving Danger

DEARBORN (WWJ) - It's a growing problem that has people taking notice, especially when they're in the drivers' seat: Texting.

In a recent AAA Consumer Pulse survey about distracted driving, 95 percent of Michigan residents stated that texting while driving was their number one concern, followed by driving when tired (94%), grooming (87%) and talking on a hand-held cell phone (63%).

The most recent data provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offers some startling statistics about motor vehicle crashes involving distracted driving. In 2014, data shows that 3,179 people were killed in crashes involving distracted driving -- 10 percent of all crash fatalities -- and 431,000 people were injured -- 18% of all crash injuries.

In recognition of Distracted Driving Awareness Month, AAA Michigan is warning drivers to get back to the basics and just drive.

"We urge Michigan motorists to avoid any and all activities that divert attention from the primary task of driving safely," Susan Hiltz, AAA spokesperson, said in a statement. "Distractions like texting endanger drivers, passengers and others sharing the road including bicyclists and pedestrians."

AAA's Top 5 Tips for Preventing Texting While Driving:

  1. Silence your cell: Temporarily disable your phone's capacity to place or receive calls or use texting.
  2. Ask for help: Enlist the help of your passengers to handle tasks such as texting, placing a call or re-programming your GPS.
  3. Concentrate on your commute: Set mobile boundaries. Ask family and friends to refrain from contacting you during your commute hours.
  4. Place your phone in the glove compartment or trunk: Wait until you're at your destination or safely pull over to check messages.
  5. Download a safety app: Many mobile safety apps can help discourage texting while driving.

**The AAA Consumer Pulse Survey was conducted online among Michigan residents from January 29, 2016 – February 9, 2016. A total of 400 residents completed the survey, with 384 who drive at least once a week. Survey results have a margin of error of ± 5 percentage points. Responses are weighted by gender and age to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the adult population (18+) in Michigan.

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