Californians are increasingly talking or sending text messages on their cellphone while driving, a new study has found.
A statewide survey showed 10.8% of drivers use mobile devices at any given daylight time, an increase from 7.3% a year ago, according to the California Office of Traffic Safety.
The largest increase was among 16 to 25 year olds, whose use doubled from 9% to 18%.
“These results are disturbing, but not entirely unforeseen,” OTS Director Christopher J. Murphy said in a news release. “Now that smartphones are becoming the majority, people are using them more often and in many more ways. This might be helpful in a lot of places, but definitely not behind the wheel.”
In April, law enforcement officials across the state made a concentrated effort to crack down on distracted driving and issued more than 57,000 tickets to motorists talking or texting on a cellphone. That is about 5,000 more than the number of tickets given out during a similar operation last year.