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Wash. texting while driving rate higher than national average

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Wash. texting while driving rate higher than national average

KGMI News Reporting
By Karen Taylor

SEATTLE, Wash. – A University of Washington study shows a high rate of people illegally text while driving in Washington State.

Doctor Beth Ebel with the UW Medicine’s Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center says they surveyed 7,800 drivers in six counties, including Whatcom County.

They found that 8 percent of drivers observed this summer used electronic devices, and 45 percent of those drivers were texting.

Play Doctor Beth Ebel on study

The study shows people either texting or using a hand-held device at a rate well above the national average of 1.3 percent.

Ebel says individual county numbers will be released soon.

It’s illegal in Washington to text or talk with the phone to your ear while driving and carries a $124 fine.