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Study: Distracted drivers would stop if asked

Posted: 10:16 AM, Oct 03, 2015
Updated: 2015-10-03 14:16:39Z

New research shows the five people you text most can significantly reduce how often you are distracted behind the wheel.

The AT&T findings says 80 percent of drivers would likely stop or reduce phone use if their 'Top 5' contacts ask them to do so.

"Even though most of us have hundreds of smartphone contacts in our phone with us, we really only communicate with five of them," said Suzanne Trantow with AT&T Corporate Communications. "Our top five."

Seventy percent of people surveyed would be willing to download an app to help them control phone usage behind the wheel. Also striking -- 85 percent say they would stop posting altogether if their 'Top 5' pushed the issue.

"I saw a lady do a 180-degree turn...then, she continued to text," said Shawnie Smalls, a driver. "I don't text and drive. I've got grand-babies. What's the point?"

But even if you don't drive while distracted, you could be contributing to the problem. Trantow says you could be contributing to the problem by communicating with someone you know is driving. 

And, the research is not limited to text messages.

"It's so much more than texting and driving these days. It's posting to Twitter, it's taking a selfie, it's checking your email," said Trantow. "So we used to say, 'No text is worth a life,' but it's really, 'No post is worth a life.'"

AT&T encourages drivers to use the hashtag, #Tag5ToSave5 as part of its campaign. So far, seven million people have taken the pledge.