EAGAN, MN --- Nine out of 10 drivers admit they have engaged in distracting and potentially dangerous activities while driving, according to a new national survey by FindLaw.com, a legal information Web site. 

While many states and municipalities are passing or considering laws to restrict activities, such as sending text messages or using cell phones while driving, the survey found that nearly all drivers (91 percent) admit to trying to multitask while behind the wheel, with potentially dangerous consequences. 

According to the FindLaw survey, the most common events people say they have engaged in while driving are:

  • Drinking coffee or other beverages - 81 percent 
  • Eating - 76 percent
  • Talking on a cell phone - 66 percent
  • Sending or receiving text messages - 29 percent
  • Applying makeup - 11 percent (21 percent of women drivers)
  • Sending or receiving e-mail - 8 percent
  • Reading a book or newspaper - 7 percent
  • Surfing the Internet - 5 percent

"Multitasking may be great in the office, but is often dangerous and illegal behind the wheel," said Stephanie Rahlfs, an attorney and editor with FindLaw.com. "Many states and localities have laws specifically prohibiting activities such as using a cell phone or sending a text message while driving. In addition, several states have laws that hold drivers accountable for distractions that could contribute to an accident." 

Certain distracting activities are particularly prevalent among younger drivers. More than half of drivers between the ages of 18 and 34 say they have sent or received a text message while driving. One out of 10 admits to having sent or received e-mails or surfed the Internet while behind the wheel.