COLUMBUS, OH – Nearly three-quarters of Americans drive while distracted by activities such as talking on the phone, largely because they feel pressured to stay in touch, a nationwide insurance company poll revealed. More than 80 percent of mobile phone owners said they talk on the phone while driving, according to the Web site,

Forty percent of American mobile phone owners between the ages of 16 and 30 admitted to composing and sending text messages while driving. An equal percentage have been hit or almost hit by another driver who was using a mobile phone, the survey reported.

According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, there are 115 road fatalities each day in the United States and distracted driving causes 80 percent of road accidents.

Nearly half of those polled said mobile phones and other technology were the most dangerous distraction at the wheel. Younger drivers — in the United States, people start driving at 16 — were the least likely to use their phones while at the wheel. Sixty percent of teens used their mobile phones while driving, as did 65 percent of baby-boomers (45-61), 78 percent of 18- to 30-year-olds, and 80 percent of those 31 to 44 years old. Teens were also more likely than their older counterparts to pull over to talk or send a text message, the survey showed.

In a study published last year by Harris Interactive, 92 percent of Americans said driving while talking on the phone was as bad as getting behind the wheel of a car after having a few drinks.