Report: More young adults texting while driving in Michigan - WNEM TV 5

Report: More young adults texting while driving in Michigan

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

A new report shows 41 percent of young adults in Michigan admit to sending texts and emails on a regular basis while driving.

The report comes from a recent statewide telephone survey conducted for the Office of Highway Safety Planning where 400 people between 20-30 years old were asked about their driving habits.

In the survey, more than 26 percent of drivers said they sent texts and emails daily.

 “While drivers are aware of the hazards associated with texting and drinking, they have an overwhelming desire to remain connected with others no matter what the risk,” said Michael L. Prince, OHSP director. “There is an intense need to stay in touch with friends and family around the clock and those emotions are a key factor as traffic safety advocates confront the growing problem of distracted driving.”

The study found 51 percent of young adults admitted to texting at night and 22 percent had texted when it was snowing, despite knowing the dangers.

The survey also found drivers were more likely to text on a local road. Nearly one in five Michigan young adults consider themselves addicted to their cell phones, the report said.

Among those surveyed, 77 percent said they were less likely to text or read texts while a child was in the vehicle.

Michigan law prohibits drivers from reading, manually typing or sending a text message while driving. Under the law, violators could face a $100 fine for the first offense and $200 for subsequent offenses.

State officials said there were 7,516 crashes in Michigan involving distracted driving during 2015. Twenty-eight people were killed in those crashes and more than 3,400 were hurt.  

That number is up from the 5,353 crashes in 2014.

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