State Farm has released the results of its eighth annual survey exploring attitudes and behaviors related to distracted driving.
Nearly all drivers surveyed, 91 percent, reported owning a smartphone, and more than half said they used them while driving.
The report showed a significant relationship between self-reported rates of cellphone use and self-reported numbers of crashes. People who indicated they used their cellphones while driving were more likely to have been in a crash compared to those who said they rarely or never used their phones while driving.
Survey respondents were asked about the various types of smartphone activities they participated in, and about other risky driving behaviors such as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, racing, failing to wear a seatbelt, and driving while drowsy. The survey concluded that the greater the number of smartphone activities drivers engaged in while behind the wheel, the more likely they were to participate in other risky behaviors as well.
The drivers who took part in the survey reported using smartphones while driving despite finding them distracting and despite thinking that using a phone while driving 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.
“Today’s drivers are faced with an ever-growing number of demands on their attention that may distract them from the critical task of driving,” said Chris Mullen, Director of Technology Research at State Farm.
“Every day we make choices about the risks we are willing to take when behind the wheel. We encourage everyone to take personal responsibility in adopting safer driving habits, for the benefit of themselves, their families, and all who share our roadways.”