LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com)  —  Eating, texting, talking on the phone.

It can be hard enough to commandeer a car without being distracted but that hasn’t stopped an increase in distracted driving — even with new laws and fines designed to nip it in the bud.

The CHP says distracted driving in on the rise.

KCAL9’s Erica Nochlin went in search of distracted drivers and didn’t have long to look.”

“Sometimes you think they’re drunk, but really, you get up next to them and you see them texting,” said one driver.

A CHP study this year found at least 12.8 percent of California drivers use their cellphones while driving. That is up from 9.2 percent since 2015.

The use of electronic devices during rush hours is also up 71 percent, the study said.

The study also found 60 percent of drivers said they’ve been hit by, or nearly hit by, someone distracted.

Dominque Ferrell says she learned the hard way.

“I can honestly say I’ve done it once, and I got into an accident when I did it so that’s why I stopped doing it,” Ferrell said.

Meanwhile, Keith Russell admitted his blue tooth doesn’t do as much as he’d like.

“Sometimes you get a message coming in, and you’re waiting on something, and it’s that human intuition to look real quick – it’s not good though,” he said.

And despite the majority of drivers knowing distracted driving is wrong, many said they still did it.

“I know one little mistake can cause huge catastrophes,” said a motorist named Ryan. “[But] I have used my cell phone while driving, I am guilty.”

The CHP wants to remind drivers that whatever you’re doing in the car can wait. Drive carefully and pay full attention.

As shocking as some of the CHP statistics are, they say they are likely even higher as they can’t monitor every motorist behind the wheel.

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