Despite the increased traffic patrols,  the avalanche of radio and TV ads telling us to stop, we're still multi-tasking behind the wheel.

PEMCO Insurance released Wednesday the results of a poll conducted recently showing nearly 50% of drivers under the age of 35 still text message on their phones while behind the wheel, and at least 20% still talk on the phone.

The poll also showed about 25% of drivers under 35, and 10% of ALL drivers surveyed admitted to holding their phone next to or near their ear so they can still hear someone.

And the most ironic catagory,  hiding the phone.  25% of drivers of all ages who admit texting or talking on their phone while behind the wheel hold it on or near their lap to conceal it from possible view from police.   13% admitted they don't even try to hide it, they talk and text as if it was legal, and essentially behave as though the cellphone use laws were never passed!

PEMCO says on average, sending a text message causes a driver to look away from the road for about 4.6 seconds.  That's about 300 feet - the length of a football field - if a vehicle is traveling at 55 mph.

The one good stat to come out of the poll?  33% of respondents said they had ridden recently with a driver who was texting or talking on their cell phone, and over 82% of those passengers said they asked the person to stop, and focus on the road.

You can take the same survey given by PEMCO a few months ago, and compare your answers with the rest of the survey.

It is often an inconvenience to have to pull over to take an important call, or send that vital text, but if you do, you will NOT become one of the over 100,000 yearly accidents in the U.S. attributed to cellphone use behind the wheel (according to the National Safety Council).

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