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Half of adults in study text and drive

Many campaigns to stop texting and driving have been aimed at hyper-connected teens, but a new survey from AT&T shows adults are more likely to be driving distracted.

Nearly half of adults surveyed, 49 percent, said they text and drive — even though nearly all of them say they know the habit is dangerous. Ninety-eight percent of adult drivers surveyed said they know that distracted driving isn’t safe.

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But the trend actually appears to be on the rise, AT&T said, as six out of 10 drivers said they never texted behind the wheel just three years ago.

The top reasons that adults gave for their behavior were that sending a text while driving has become second nature, they feel it makes them more productive, and it helps them feel connected. While the survey showed adults were more likely to engage in the bad habit, 43 percent of teens also said they were sending messages while behind the wheel.

AT&T used the results to talk about its ‘‘Texting and Driving . . . It Can Wait’’ campaign, which encourages drivers to take a pledge not to use text messaging behind the wheel.

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