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Editorial: Distracted driving increasing in all ages

The growth in smartphones across the American population spectrum is leading to more online surfing while driving.

A recent survey shows an increase to 24 percent of those polled in 2013 reported texting while driving, compared to13 percent reported in 2009.

Drivers ages 18-29 reported an increase from 29 percent to 49 percent during the same period, the survey said..

The survey also showed increases in people reading or responding to email, reading or responding to social networks — all while driving, according to USA Today.

Distracted driving — whether it be texting, reading email, web surfing or other distractions — remains against the law in many states.

It also remains dangerous.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration research shows distracted driving increases the crash risk by 23 times.

Other research notes that just reading or writing a text message distracts a driver for about 4.6 seconds, according to a USA Today report. In that time, a vehicle can travel 100 yards at 55 mph.

The research and data are clear: distracted driving for any reason is not safe.

So put your cell phone, eyeliner or hamburger down on the seat beside you and just wait. It’s a decision that could save your life and others.