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Fewer NJ Motorists Are Texting While Driving [AUDIO]

It appears that motorists are beginning to change their behaviors while driving, and that includes less texting behind the wheel.

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Texting and Driving
(Lisa F. Young, ThinkStock)

In AAA’s 2014 Report to the Legislature, there has been a 19 percent reduction since 2007 in the self-reported use of hand-held devices while driving. Overall, 73 percent of motorists said that they did not text while driving, up from 67 percent in 2011. Young drivers between the ages of 18 and 29 had a 20 percent drop of those who admitted to texting or emailing while driving.

“People are starting to get the message and it is very encouraging,” said Tracy Noble, spokesperson with AAA Mid-Atlantic. “We’re headed in the right direction, but we’ve still got a long way to go in addressing this problem, but people are beginning to realize what a concern it is.”

Awareness campaigns are helping. Many corporations have non-texting-and-driving policies when people are on company time, and many state highways have signs which remind drivers to not take part in activities that distract them while behind the wheel.

Perception changes must be addressed, according to Noble. The survey found that while 31 percent of drivers believe they are not distracted while talking on their cell phone and driving, 82 percent of those same drivers believe that others are distracted while doing the same thing.

“We still have this ‘do as I say, not as I do’ attitude going on and people believe that they are capable but the person in the vehicle next to them is not, so we need to change that idea that it’s always the other guy,” Noble said. “One of the things that we also find very troubling is that when we talk to teens and ask them if they’ve been in a vehicle with a driver that has been texting, a lot of them say it’s their parent. So, we also need teens to let their parents know that they aren’t comfortable when their parents are texting while driving.”

To view the survey, visit https://midatlantic.aaa.com/.

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