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Cellphone use while driving youthful 'deadly epidemic'

Texting, talking and other cellphone use is particularly common among drivers under age 30 and is now being described as a “deadly epidemic” by U.S. Department of Transportation officials.

A new poll conducted by the magazine Consumer Reports details 63 percent of drivers under age 30 used a handheld phone while driving in the past 30 days. Thirty percent of those drivers have also recently texted from behind the wheel, U.S. Transportation officials said. The survey had 1,026 respondents.

Ray LaHood, the U.S. Transportation Secretary, called distracted driving “a deadly epidemic.”

Consumer Reports is working with the U.S. Transportation Dept. officials on creating an increased awareness about the dangers of cell phone use while driving.

Among drivers over age 30 only 9 percent of the survey respondents said they had recently texted while driving.

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