According to a new survey, 70% of drivers have used their mobile phones while driving in the past three months – a startling statistic amid a national spike in road crashes and fatalities.
And even more Americans – 86% – admitted to using a mobile device while driving for work during the same period, according to the survey commissioned by Selective Insurance and Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, which also revealed that more than half of those surveyed said they Support stricter measures to prevent distracted driving, as the number of people killed in such accidents exceeded 3,000 in the United States in 2020.
“This investigation reveals the deadly and dangerous driver decisions that contribute to this horrific death and injury toll,” said Cathy Chase, president of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety. “The public understands this danger and strongly supports many strategies to prevent distraction and its impacts, in particular requiring advanced vehicle safety technologies in all new vehicles, which continues to be a top priority for advocates. “
Additionally, nearly a third of those who said they used a mobile device while driving for work had actually participated in a video call while driving, the survey found, including the former New York City Council member Helen Rosenthal (D-Manhattan), who was caught zooming in on a Zoom call last year.
Among other discoveries:
- 73% said they talked, video called or texted while driving
- 45% said they consulted social media or used an app
- 30% said they took a photo
- 25% said they checked or emailed
“With more drivers back on the road and the growing popularity of virtual work and video calling, it is more important than ever that employers develop and enforce distracted driving policies to keep employees and the general public safe. on the roads,” said Brenda Hall of Selective. Assurance.
The survey, conducted online earlier this month, interviewed 2,073 American adults ages 18 and older, 1,848 of whom were licensed drivers. The questions did not distinguish between using a handheld device or texting while driving and using a mounted cell phone or Bluetooth-linked device, as the legality of use of mobile devices while driving differs from state to state.
But the survey also found that road rage tragically affects everyone – nearly a third of Americans said they had personally been involved in an accident involving distracted driving due to the use of a mobile device, or know someone who has been. Young Americans, ages 18-44, were significantly more likely (46%) to be involved in a distracted driving crash or to know someone who had been involved in one, compared to Americans 45 and older (18%).
And on the heels of the national survey, which also found the majority of Americans said they support stronger policies to tackle distracted driving – including 57% saying they support stronger penalties and traffic fines. high – advocates are calling on the US Department of Transportation to immediately address the rise in road rage caused by distracted driving, especially as April marks Distracted Driving Awareness Month.