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9 in 10 drivers admit risky behavior behind the wheel

Texting ranks at the top of the worst driving behaviors in a new list (Thinkstock)

WASHINGTON — Almost 90 percent of drivers admit to engaging in at least one risky behavior while behind the wheel within the past month, according to AAA.

And those are the honest ones.

New research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows 70 percent of drivers report talking on a cellphone while driving in the past 30 days, and nearly 1 in 3 reports doing it regularly.

More than 2 in 5 drivers admit to reading a text message or email, while one-third acknowledge typing or sending one.

In addition to distracted driving, the study shows almost half of all drivers report going more than 15 mph above the speed limit on a highway in the past month, and almost half have sped in a residential neighborhood.

As regards impaired driving, 13 percent of drivers report getting behind the wheel when their alcohol blood level might have been near or over the legal limit in the past year. About 9 percent of drivers reporting doing this more than once in the past year.

Drowsy driving and red-light running are also part of AAA’s annual Traffic Safety Culture Index, which identifies attitudes and behaviors related to driver safety.

The risky behavior has severe and permanent consequences: One in three drivers has had a friend or relative seriously injured or killed in a crash.

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