The survey revealed 88 percent of drivers believe distracted driving is on the rise, ahead of aggressive driving (68 percent), drivers using drugs (55 percent) and drunk driving (43 percent). Michigan State Police remind everyone to drive responsibly and focus on the road.
Although people know texting and driving is risky, Cruz said people don't even think twice about doing it.
"Distracted driving is extraordinarily hard to detect following a crash and that makes it one of the most under-reported traffic safety issues", she said. Preliminarily, in 2017, drivers age 20-24 were responsible for the highest number of distracted driving crashes, followed closely by 25-29 year-olds and 15-19 year-olds. From 2016 to 2017, the number of fatal crashes due to distracted drivers almost doubled.
"U Drive - U Text - U Pay" is both an educational initiative and enforcement effort to keep distracted drivers off the road.
Cruz said it's tough for officers to cite drivers for texting because of the revised code. The law restricts hands-free use to a single touch.
"Research shows that drivers are three times more likely to crash when talking on the phone, and 23 times more likely to crash when entering information into their phone", said Erika Mascorro, program manager for the commission, in a statement.
"Our roads can be a risky place, which means we all have to take great care", she said.
"Awareness of the issue really is one small way that we're trying to combat distracted driving". During April drivers will see an increased law enforcement presence on the roadways.
The triple-a foundation for traffic safety released the poll this week. The California Department of Transportation will also put distracted driving messages on the changeable message signs on freeways to discourage distracted driving.
According to a 2014 report in the New England Journal of Medicine, the risk of a crash or near-crash among novice drivers increased with the performance of many secondary tasks, including texting and dialing cell phones. "Through the Safe Communities Coalition, we prioritize awareness campaigns and other interventions to ensure the health and safety of all Lorain County residents".