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Majority of drivers believe distracted driving is the biggest cause of auto accidents, a study shows

A new Progressive Insurance study shows about one-third of drivers feel confident in their own ability to text and drive, yet the majority believe distracted driving is the biggest cause of auto accidents and more than 90% say it should be illegal.

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Here are a few key findings from the study:

Young vs. Old

  • 62% of 18-34-year-olds are very or somewhat confident in their ability to text while driving, while only 6% of individuals 55 and older felt the same confidence.
  • Yet, 64% of 18-34-year-olds think texting or looking as a phone while driving is the most common cause of accidents.

Men vs. Women

  • Twice as many men (21%) as women (11%) are “very confident” in their ability to text while driving.
  • Despite that confidence, 88% of men and 97% of women think texting should not be allowed.

Among All Drivers

  • More than 65% of individuals polled believe that texting/looking at one’s phone while driving is the most common cause of traffic accidents in the US. And 83% of individuals believe police should be able to pull over drivers for texting alone. At the same time, 34% of respondents said they were somewhat or very confident in their ability to text while driving.
  • Individuals are most likely to think it is ok to engage in the following activities on their phone while driving: listening to music (43%), use a map (30%) and make a call (25%). This also corresponds with ways they interact with their phone when behind the wheel — Use a map app at a stoplight (37%), Use a map app while driving (35%), Look at an app at a stoplight (22%), Look at an app when stopped in traffic (21%), and Use a virtual assistant (like Siri) to search for a contact to make a call (19%).
  • The most common feelings evoked when seeing another driver texting is a concern (62%) followed by irritation (50%). These top two feelings didn’t vary by age, gender.

The study of drivers was developed by Progressive Insurance. It was a national online study conducted in August 2017 among general market, insured drivers, who are not Progressive customers. Approximately 1,000 individuals 18 years of age or older responded.

About Piyush Rajan

Asst. Editor |Telematics Wire | Smart automotive

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