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Byline: Marian Uhlman
Aug. 7--Driven to distraction -- that's what motorists are these days as they juggle food, cosmetics, children, reading material, CD players and cell phones.
A new study, which videotaped drivers in the Philadelphia area and North Carolina, shows just how preoccupied motorists are: 30 percent of the test subjects talked on cell phones while driving, 40 percent read or wrote (chiefly when their cars were stopped at signs or lights), 46 percent groomed themselves, 71 percent ate or drank, and 91 percent fiddled with radios or CD players.
The study was the first of its kind to collect data about distractions and their effects as people were engaged in their routine driving, the authors said.
The candid car cameras showed that drivers spent up to 16 percent of their driving time engaged …