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Survey Shows Support For Bans On E-Mail, Texting While Driving

A majority of adults who drive and have used e-mail and text messages admitted to sending and reading them while driving.

Ninety-one percent of Americans think driving while distracted by text messages or e-mail is as dangerous as driving after drinking alcoholic beverages, according to a recent survey.

And many of those who think texting while driving should be outlawed would have to change their behaviors or face penalties if the practice were banned.

"We all know that distracted driving is dangerous, especially when drivers take their eyes off the road to text message," Greg Woock, CEO of Pinger, said in a statement. "But, as these numbers show, people want to stay connected when they're on the go."

The survey, commissioned by mobile messaging service Pinger and conducted by Harris Interactive, showed that 89% of American adults think sending e-mail and text messages while driving should be outlawed. More surprising: 66% of adults who drive and have used text messages admitted reading them while driving. Fifty-seven percent of the same group said they sent messages or texts while driving.

The survey also showed that 64% of adults who admitted to sending text messages while driving were between 18 and 34 years old. Only 6% were 55 or older. The survey found that men and women are equally inclined to text or e-mail while driving.

Harris conducted the U.S. survey online between June 29 and July 3, 2007. The poll of 2,049 adults was weighted to reflect the overall population, in terms of age, sex, race, ethnicity, education, region, and household income.

Pinger offers instant voice messaging services that relay voice messages from one mobile phone user to another. Drivers call Pinger, say the name of a contact, leave a voice message and hang up. The message goes to the contact automatically. The company advocates use of its services with a hands-free set for maximum safety.

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