More Drivers Texting Behind Wheel, Despite Laws

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Tough new state laws designed to stop people from texting when they drive don't seem to be working, especially among younger drivers.

The first government study of its kind, released Thursday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, shows almost one in every 100 drivers is texting, emailing or surfing the Web at any given moment on the road.

The worst offenders are young drivers between the ages of 21 and 24. Many of these drivers don't think it's dangerous when they text while driving -- only when other drivers do.

"Everyone thinks he or she is an above average driver - it's all the nuts out there who need educating," said Russ Rader, a spokesman for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Texting while operating a motor vehicle is against the law in 35 states.

Safety advocates are now pushing for a national ban against the practice.

A bill introduced by Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y., would cut back highway funds to states that fail to enact a ban. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has also advocated a national ban.

Last year, 3,092 people were killed because of distracted drivers.

*Originally aired on December 9, 2011. 

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