The survey of 1,011 adult drivers, conducted Dec. 17-19 by AT&T and provided to USA Today, found 43 percent of U.S. teenagers admitted texting while driving.
"I was a little bit surprised," Charlene Lake, AT&T's senior vice president-public affairs, told USA Today. "It was sobering to realize that texting while driving by adults is not only high, it's really gone up in the last three years -- 6-in-10 said they weren't doing mixing texting and driving three years ago."
AT&T conducted the survey as part of its "It Can Wait campaign," which began three years ago to urge drivers to delay texting until they're were not driving. More than 1.3 million people have pledged to do so, Lake said.
The Governors Highway Safety Association said 39 states and the District of Columbia ban texting while driving for all drivers, and five more states prohibit the practice for new drivers.
In 2011, 3,331 people died in crashes involving a distracted driver, up from 3,267 in 2010, the U.S. Department of Transportation reported.