Distracted Driving survey: drivers taking risks

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A recent State Farm survey reveals nearly all drivers, 91 percent, reported owning a smartphone, and more than half say they use them while driving. Though distracted driving continues to be all too common, the news is not all bad. After several years of steady increases in distracting cellphone activities, only taking pictures and recording videos saw significant increases this year.
Survey Results:
  • 50% talk on a hand-held phone
  • 35% text while driving
  • 29% access the internet while driving
  • 26% read email behind the wheel; 21% respond
  • 22% access social networks
  • 23% take pictures; 14% record video
  • 93% talk to passengers; 23% attend to children; 21% attend to pets in the car
Drivers also report listening to loud music, eating, speeding and driving tired as other risky behaviors.
Drivers know the risk, but can’t resist
Survey respondents reported using smartphones while driving despite finding them distracting. And despite thinking the behavior increases the likelihood of a crash. When asked why, they provided reasons such as improved efficiency, need to stay in touch, habit, searching for information on the internet, and seeing something they want to share.
Reasons for These Behaviors:
  • Good use of time
  • Staying in touch with family & friends
  • Helps to stay awake
  • Bored while driving
Relationship between cellphone use and crashes
The report shows a significant relationship between self-reported rates of cellphone use and self-reported number of crashes. People who indicated they use their cellphones while driving were more likely to have been in a crash compared to those who said they rarely or never use their phones while driving.
The survey was conducted as part of our ongoing research into highway safety issues. It did not involve any policyholder claim information. The full survey can be found here.
Drinking & Driving
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), alcohol-impaired driving fatalities increased by 3.2 percent, from 9,943 in 2014 to 10,265 in 2015.
In a recent State Farm survey, one in five respondents indicated they had consumed alcohol and drove a car in the last year. Further, 94% of consumers surveyed believe the drunk driving problem has not yet been solved.
 

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