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UPenn Hosts 'How To Stop Distracted Driving' Event

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Every day, nine people are killed by distracted driving. The University of Pennsylvania addressed how to stop the dangerous trend on Tuesday.

Research has shown young people are the worst culprits when it comes to using their phones while behind the wheel of a car.

At the event, experts were reviewing what kinds of advanced auto safety technologies could help save lives.

Everybody knows how dangerous texting and driving is but drivers are constantly on their phones and distracted driving is a leading cause of car crashes.

Hoping to find new solutions, Penn hosted a symposium aiming to harness science and innovation to combat distracted driving.

"How do you stop the automatic behavior?" questioned Dr. Kit Delgado.

One way is by going to settings on iPhones and turning on the "Do Not Disturb While Driving" feature that can be set on automatic. Apparently, it's not that popular.

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Delgado, who works in the emergency department, often hears this from distracted drivers who crash.

"They immediately tell me I know I shouldn't have been doing it but I reached for it and I didn't realize I was reaching for my phone until it was too late and I crashed," said Delgado.

Travelers, who co-hosted the program, did a recent survey of 435 drivers around the Philadelphia area and they found:

• 75 percent admit to using a phone while driving
• 48 percent were reading texts, e-mails
• 23 percent updating, checking social media
• 18 percent recording video

"They think it is someone else's problem, it's not their problem," said Joan Woodward, president of Traveler's Institute.

Travelers will be releasing this survey soon with the parents of a 19-year-old runner who was killed by a distracted driver.

Many states now have laws against texting, talking on a cellphone and other distractions while driving, but experts say those laws are often not obeyed.

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