Distracted Driving Statistics
Created by kblakeslee on 11/14/2013 1:40:45 PM

INDIANA, (WOWO): The holiday travel season is upon us, and State Farm released its annual research report on distracted driving.

The survey results showed the use of hands-free cell phones while driving has increased, while the percentage of people talking on a hand-held cell phone or texting while driving has become stagnant over the past three years.

As smart phone ownership increases for all age groups, the safety community must ensure we are keeping pace with our understanding of the types of distractions drivers face,” said Chris Mullen, Director of Technology Research at State Farm. Much attention is paid toward reducing texting while driving, but we must also be concerned about addressing the growing use of multiple mobile web services while driving.

While much of the distracted driving focus has been on young people, the data indicates that the percentage of motorists who own smart phones is increasing for all ages:

Ages 18-29: 78% in 2011 to 86% in 2013

Ages 30-39: 60% in 2011 to 86% in 2013

Ages 40-49: 47% in 2011 to 82% in 2013

Ages 50-64: 44% in 2011 to 64% in 2013

Ages 65+: 23% in 2011 to 39% in 2013

When drivers were asked to share how distracting they find a variety of common occurrences they had this to say:

Hand-held cell phone: very distracting - 34%, somewhat distracting - 46%

Hands-free cell phone: very distracting - 14%, somewhat distracting - 43%

Sending a text while driving: very distracting - 76%, somewhat distracting - 14%

Reading a text while driving: very distracting - 62%, somewhat distracting - 27%

Talking with a passenger: very distracting - 4%, somewhat distracting - 41%

Reaching for a non-moving object: very distracting - 22%, somewhat distracting - 62%

Attending to children in the back seat: very distracting - 41%, somewhat distracting - 29%

Pet in lap: very distracting - 53%, somewhat distracting - 20%

Reaching for a moving object: very distracting - 61%, somewhat distracting - 31%

When asked for their opinion on ways to encourage drivers to be more engaged in the task at hand, 74 percent of drivers surveyed strongly agree with laws or regulations prohibiting texting or emailing behind the wheel. However, more than half believe that laws governing cell phone use while driving are enforced to little or no extent. To a lesser degree, 44 percent of survey respondents were extremely likely to support technology that would prevent texting or emailing on a cell phone while driving.

State Farm continues to support a multi-pronged approach to encouraging more engaged driving, Mullen said. Legislation, enforcement, education and technology all have a role to play in making our roads safer for all who share them.