Majority say activity should be illegal but believe they are capable of doing it without danger
A recent study by Progressive Insurance shows that 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 percent say it should be illegal.
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The report showed a sharp difference in attitudes between younger and older drivers. More than 60 percent of 18-34 year olds are confident in their ability to safely text while driving, compared to less than 6 percent of those 55 and older.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,477 people were killed, and 391,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in the United States in 2015. Teens were the largest age group reported as distracted at the time of fatal crashes.
"We hope this study starts conversations around distracted driving and how to reduce it,” said David Pratt, business leader of usage based Insurance at Progressive. “It's especially interesting that most people recognize this activity is dangerous, yet many people feel confident in their own ability to text and drive."
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the study showed that men think they are better at texting and driving. Twice as many men (21 percent) as women (11 percent) said they are "very confident" in their ability to text while driving. Despite that confidence, some 88 percent of men and 97 percent of women think texting should not be allowed.
Among all drivers more than 65 percent of individuals polled believe that texting/looking at one's phone while driving is the most common cause of traffic accidents in the United States. And 83 percent of individuals believe police should be able to pull over drivers for texting alone. Yet at the same time, 34 percent of respondents said they were somewhat or very confident in their ability to text while driving.
Meanwhile, the study said the most common feelings evoked when seeing another driver texting is concern (62 percent) followed by irritation (50 percent). These top two feelings didn't vary by age or gender.