PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) -- AAA is pushing for more states to crack down on cell phone use behind the wheel, after releasing a study that suggests phone users are more prone to other bad driving habits.
"The results show that people who are inclined to take risks by talking on their cell phone also exhibit other risky behavior like being willing to drive while drowsy, not wearing a seatbelt and speeding," said Lloyd Albert of AAA Southern New England .
According to a recent AAA survey, 65-percent of those drivers who regularly use their cell phones while driving also reported speeding; 44-percent admitted driving while drowsy; and 29-percent said they drove without wearing a seatbelt.
The group says 69-percent of all Americans drive while using their cell phones, and doing so makes drivers four times more likely to be involved in a crash. Those who text or email while driving are 22 times more likely to crash, according to AAA.
"The concern for traffic safety advocates is very real," said Lloyd Albert of AAA Southern New England. AAA says cell phone use contributes to more than three thousand deadly crashes every tear.
"We're very, very concerned about making sure that people understand to focus their priorities to driving safely and put that cell phone away when you're behind the wheel," Albert tells Eyewitness News.
53-percent of respondents who used their phone behind the wheel said they also sent texts or emails while driving. That is why the non-profit group has launched a campaign to push for a nationwide ban on texting while driving.
Rhode Island and Massachusetts are among 39 states that already have laws in place against texting behind the wheel.
"We're very pleased that roughly 39 states now have passed legislation that bans texting while driving," said Albert, adding that AAA hopes the eleven remaining states will jump on-board by the end of the year.