Around 40% of drivers admit to this frightening bad habit

Perhaps you’ve been there: One hand on the steering wheel and the other on your smartphone, you steal glances at a screen in half-second increments. It’s not that you’re addicted to the latest gaming app – you’re working.

A recent online survey conducted by Harris Poll for Travelers insurance shows that more than four out of 10 drivers fessed up to performing work-related functions on smartphones while behind the wheel.

Study: Four out of 10 admit to driving while doing work-related things on their phones

The survey’s results indicate that many people feel pressure about being available and beholden to their workplaces, even while driving, creating a new kind of danger on the nation’s roads. Work-related communication — either via talk, text or email — was highest among motorists ages 18 to 44, according to the findings.

We may think of drunken driving as the #1 menace on our streets, but the numbers around distracted driving are pretty scary themselves.

A poll conducted by Allstate Insurance found that half of drivers said that they text and drive. Another one by insurer State Farm found that 91% of drivers said that they considered even talking with a passenger a distraction.

More than 3,470 lives were claimed due to distracted driving in 2015, according to statistics furnished by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Taking your eyes off the road for seconds at 55 mph is like driving the  length of a football field blindfolded, the agency said.

The NHTSA defines distracted driving as “any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in your vehicle, fiddling with the stereo, entertainment or navigation system.”

Such mundane activities as scanning the radio for your favorite station to unpeeling a banana could be putting you and those you share the road with in harm’s way.

How to curb the urge to drive while distracted

Here are some good pointers to keep in mind, courtesy of some of the nation’s top insurance companies:

  • Use the phone only for emergencies and pull over if you have to, Geico says.
  • Slow down: Distractions often cause drivers to pay less attention to their speed, says Allstate. The insurer touts its Drivewise app as a way to help drivers earn rewards for safe driving.
  • Beware of rubbernecking: Slowing down to look at other drivers or a roadside accident steals our attention from the road, State Farm warns.

Money expert Clark Howard says there are some apps that attempt to put the brakes on texting and driving. “Parents of teen drivers have yet more weapons in their arsenal when it comes to keeping their kids safe behind the wheel,” he writes. See his picks for apps that stop drivers from texting.

RELATED: This technology could prevent texting & driving

Next Up in Business

Toys ‘R’ Us founder Charles Lazarus, 94, dies
Toys ‘R’ Us founder Charles Lazarus, 94, dies

Charles Lazarus, who founded Toys ‘R’ Us, has died. The retailer confirmed that Lazarus, 94, died this morning. He no longer had any ownership position in the chain, but he started the company when he was 24 years old in 1948. He served as CEO until 1994. “There have been many sad moments for Toys”R”Us in recent weeks...
CLOSER LOOK: What’s the building that caught fire in downtown Dayton?
CLOSER LOOK: What’s the building that caught fire in downtown Dayton?

The vice president for the company constructing the new CareSource building in downtown Dayton said all employees and construction workers are accounted for and there were no injuries in the fire this afternoon. “We had an incident on the roof of the building,” said Troy Erbes, Vice President with Danis.  “Some roof insulation...
Toys “R” Us liquidation sales start Friday
Toys “R” Us liquidation sales start Friday

Toys “R” Us liquidation sales are expected to start on Friday. A company spokesperson told CNNMoney sales are likely to start on Friday. The retailer will shut or sell all of its 735 U.S. stores. Customers should use any gift cards before April 20. » MUST-READ BUSINESS NEWS: Toys ‘R’ Us files for bankruptcy: What&rsquo...
Former DP&L power plants to lay off 370 workers in Ohio
Former DP&L power plants to lay off 370 workers in Ohio

AES Ohio Generation, formerly Dayton Power & Light, will lay off approximately 370 workers in Aberdeen and Manchester at two power plants. The company is permanently closing two generation plant facilities located at 745 US 52 in Aberdeen and Killen Station located at 14869 US 52 in Manchester. This will also result in the closure of a training center...
It’s not just assault weapons. Kroger to stop selling all guns, ammunition
It’s not just assault weapons. Kroger to stop selling all guns, ammunition

Kroger’s Fred Meyer stores will stop selling guns and ammunition altogether. The Cincinnati-based company announced the move as a gun control debate heats up again after the Parkland, Florida high school mass shooting. Earlier this month, Fred Meyer said it would raise the age limit for guns and ammunition purchases from 18 to 21. Kroger also...
More Stories