Americans tweet, text, surf ... while driving: Survey

WASHINGTON (AFP) - It's not just texting: American motorists admit to surfing the Web, posting tweets and even taking selfies while behind the wheel, a new survey shows.

The poll released by AT&T as part of a safety campaign found almost seven out of 10 United States smartphone users acknowledged some kind of smartphone activity while driving.

That included 61 per cent who texted, 33 per cent who read or sent emails, 27 per cent who used Facebook and 14 per cent who viewed or posted on Twitter.

More than one in four had surfed the Web behind the wheel, 17 per cent said they had taken a "selfie" picture with their phone during their driving and 12 per cent had recorded a video.

Other activities on the road included using Instagram, Snapchat or videochat services, the survey found.

Among the other findings: 62 per cent keep their smartphones within easy reach while driving, 30 per cent of people who post to Twitter while driving do it "all the time" and 22 per cent who access social networks while driving cite addiction as a reason.

The survey released Tuesday by AT&T polled 2,067 adult smartphone users and was conducted by Braun Research.

AT&T said it would use the findings to boost awareness of the dangers of smartphone use behind the wheel under its "It Can Wait" campaign.

The carrier plans a nationwide virtual reality tour to help people understand that it's not possible to drive safely while using a smartphone.

"When we launched 'It Can Wait' five years ago, we pleaded with people to realize that no text is worth a life," said AT&T global marketing officer Lori Lee.

"The same applies to other smartphone activities that people are doing while driving. For the sake of you and those around you, please keep your eyes on the road, not on your phone."