UW Study Finds Half Distracted Drivers Are Texting

Sep 9, 2013

Researchers say more than 8 percent of drivers in Washington state are distracted by electronic devices, including many who are actively texting on the roadway.

A study released Monday by the University of Washington found that nearly half of distracted drivers were observed texting. Researchers compiled their numbers after observing 7,800 motorists at intersections in six counties.

Dr. Beth Ebel was the study's principal investigator. She says the findings suggest distracted driving from electronic devices is more common than previously thought.

The study is part of broader research designed to help public officials gauge whether they are making progress in strategies designed to deter distracted driving. Drivers who are caught texting while driving in Washington state currently face a $124 fine.