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A red light? That’s smartphone time!

By Crissinda Ponder · Bankrate.com
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Posted: 3 pm ET

Go on, admit it: You know that it's a big no-no, but at least occasionally you reach for your smartphone when you're behind the wheel.

Are there times when motorists are more inclined to engage in this bad behavior? A new survey has the answer. And auto insurance companies are probably collectively frowning right now.

© Filipe Frazao/Shutterstock.com

Nearly two-thirds of drivers admit they are more likely to use their phone when they are stopped at a red light, and another 30 percent say they'll do so while on the open road, according to State Farm's latest distracted driving survey.

And here's an alarming finding: About 10 percent of survey respondents say driving through a school or construction zone doesn't discourage them from using their cellphone.

There are a number of road conditions in which drivers say they would be less likely to pick up their devices, including:

  • Ice, 93 percent
  • Snow, 92 percent
  • Fog, 91 percent
  • Rain, 88 percent
  • Construction zone, 87 percent
  • School zone, 83 percent
  • Heavy traffic, 78 percent
  • Nighttime, 75 percent

The percentage of drivers who text has been stable over the course of the six years State Farm has conducted the survey. However, there has been a decline in the number of drivers who say they talk on a handheld cellphone.

"While much attention is paid to the dangers of talking and texting while driving, it's critical that we also address the increasing use of other smartphone features and other sources of distraction," State Farm's director of technology research Chris Mullen says in a statement.

That means: Stop yelling at Siri, guys.

More than half of respondents believe imprisonment to be a fitting punishment for drivers who cause a fatal accident while using a phone.

Fatalities related to distracted driving numbered more than 3,300 in 2012, and another 421,000 people were injured that year. Additionally, 20-somethings comprise more than a quarter of distracted drivers involved in deadly crashes, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

What are the worst driver distractions? Read our slideshow to find out.

Follow me on Twitter @CrissiPonder.

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