Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Ramblin' Man: Colorado Springs military members like to text while driving

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By Garrison Wells Updated: February 8, 2014 at 2:12 pm 0

Members of the military in Colorado Spring aren't exactly immune to bad driving habits.

Many of them, according to a recent report, text while they are behind the wheel.

According to a survey by United Services Automobile Association that targeted 900 active-duty service members from nine communities with a large military presence in the United States, more than half - 53 percent - in Colorado Springs said they text while driving.

That's higher than survey respondents overall, which showed that 43 percent admit to texting while driving.

Besides the Springs, other cities that were part of the survey included Clarksville, Tenn.; Washington, D.C., Fayetteville, N.C.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Norfolk, Va.; San Antonio; San Diego, and Tampa.

The overall rate, said USAA, is about the same as teens who text and drive.

The study found that female service members were more likely to text than males and soldiers from 21 to 24 years old were the biggest offenders.

Deployment also made a difference.

Soldiers who were deployed texted less than those who have not deployed, the report said.

It's a problem because distracted driving, USAA said, is a national issue. Distracted driving killed 3,328 people and injured 421,000 nationwide in 2012, USAA said.

For a lot of soldiers, it's a habit. More than two out of five (44 percent) in Colorado Springs said they text out of habit - slightly more than the 38 percent of service members overall. And while most of them, 91 percent, said that they consider texting while driving to be unsafe, 44 percent locally do it any way, the report says.

Local military also are less likely than service members overall to stop texting while driving if asked by their installation commander or high-ranking officer.

Locally, 57 percent say they would ignore the request, according to the report. Overall, 53 percent would ignore their commanders.

A text from a spouse was the most likely to get a response, the survey says.

More than half (54 percent) of area service members said they are most likely to respond to a text sent from their spouse than from any other individual compared to 47 percent of service members overall.

Here's a video link about the survey: bit.ly/LF2Bfj.

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