Over a year after Washington's electronic DUI laws began, 69 percent of Washington drivers still use phones while behind the wheel, according to a study released Wednesday from AAA Washington.
Washington State Patrol and AAA teamed up to share results of E-DUI collisions and the results of the survey of Washington driver's electronic habits while behind the wheel. They also premiered a new PSA called "Don't Drive Intoxicated. Don't Drive Intexticated."
In the AAA survey, over 1,100 Washington drivers answered questions about electronic habits while driving.
Of those, 90 percent said that they were aware of the E-DUI law and its penalties.
Thirty-one percent responded that they did not use their phones while driving, and said that their main motivation was to keep themselves and their passengers safe.
As found in the survey, the most common cell phone interactions that drivers illegally took part in included setting navigation, reading a text message, answering a hand-held call, sending text messages, and making hand-held calls.
Thr survey also found that a higher percentage of parents who drive around their children took part in these categories more often than the overall average found in the study. While 58% of all the drivers said that they sent text messages while driving, 68 percent of parent drivers admitted to doing so.
Even with E-DUI laws, drivers are still allowed to use hands-free devices in the car, as long as using the device only requires a single swipe or touch to activate. Seventy-one percent of respondents said that they answers hands-free calls while driving, and 64 percent answered calls using hands-free devices.
For newly-licensed teens, the percentage of distracted driving increases overall: 96 percent of 16- and 17-year-old drivers said that they set navigation while driving, and 86 percent read texts while behind the wheel.
More information about the survey and its results can be found at the AAA Washington website.
Driving while distracted can impose a $136 fine on the driver. Visit the Washington State Patrol website to learn more about Washington's E-DUI law.