The majority of US drivers rated distracted driving behaviours a very serious threat to their safety, according to a new study.

The study has been released by the American Automobile Association’s (AAA) Foundation for Traffic Safety.

The third annual 2010 Traffic Safety Culture Index highlights that 88% of the motorists rated drivers who text and e-mail on the road as a very serious threat, ranking higher than the threat of drunk driving.

The study reveals that 52% of drivers feel less safe on the roads today than they did five years ago, mainly due to distracted driving.

The study has shown 62% of drivers feel talking on a mobile phone is a very serious threat to safety, but they do not always behave accordingly or believe that others share these views.

About 70% of those surveyed admitted to talking on their phones while driving and 24% said they read or sent text messages or emails on the road in the past month.

The study notes that nine out of 10 people consider texting while driving unacceptable and two-thirds have indicated that they would lose some respect for a friend who engages in those activities.