National Phone Survey on Distracted Driving Attitudes and Behaviors

by Personal Injury Claims Blawg on September 25, 2012

The following article is provided by the law firm of Allen, Allen, Allen & Allen. They are one of the largest and oldest law firms in Virginia specializing in personal injury and medical malpractice cases. Visit them online at and also at

There is a deadly epidemic spreading across our country known as distracted driving.  Distracted driving is any activity in the car that takes your attention away from the primary task of driving.  Distracted driving is a leading cause of car accidents on our roads and highways.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducted a recent survey (11/2010 – 12/2010) in an effort to determine distracted driving behaviors amongst drivers of all ages.  This national telephone survey polled 6,002 drivers, 18 and older, throughout the United States, with the objective examining distracted driving behaviors and attitudes of drivers.  Survey questions asked about driving habits, cell phone use, and opinions of distracted driving laws and enforcement.

There are some common threads of distracted driving behavior amongst all survey participants no matter the age, gender or location.  The top distraction is talking to other passengers while driving – 80% of those surveyed admitted to it.  The second largest distraction is adjusting the car radio or changing music (65%).  Other activities that drivers admit to engaging in while driving are eating/drinking (45%) and talking on the phone (40%).

The survey shows that men are more likely than women to use navigation systems (55% of men, 46% of women) and to use portable music players with headphones (4% men, 1% women).  Women, are more likely than their male counterparts to become distracted by children in the back seat (31% women, 23% men) and to perform personal grooming activities while driving (8% women, 3% men).

Young drivers under the age of 25 are two to three times more likely than their elders to read or send text messages or e-mails while driving.

When asked about laws concerning cell phone use while driving, 38% say their home state has a law banning talking on handheld cell phones while driving and 50% believe their state has a law banning texting or e-mailing while driving.  There was overwhelming support for both – 71% believe there should be a ban on handheld cell phone use while driving and 94% believe there should be a ban on texting or e-mailing while driving.

One of the objectives of this research is to assess the current attitudes and self-reported behaviors about distracted driving.  Hopefully, in recognizing the bad habits of different drivers, it is then possible to establish a targeted campaign towards curtailing distracted driving behaviors.  You can read the full results of the National Phone Survey on Distracted Driving here:

Every day distracted drivers cause accidents that seriously injure or kill innocent victims. In many instances, the injured are passengers in the car of a distracted driver. If you or a family member has been injured or killed in an accident caused by a distracted driver, it is important to know your rights. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you understand the laws in your favor and can fight for compensation for your injuries and loss.  An attorney experienced in handling accident cases caused by distracted drivers will put your interests ahead of the insurance companies and protect your interests.

Personal Injury Claims Blawg

Personal Injury Claims Blawg

PI claims blogger at PIClaimsBlawg
Personal Injury Claims Blawg is a personal injury law blog, inviting contributions from practitioners, PI law firms and legal academics across the UK, US and beyond. The post above has been published because of the high value associated with the author's work. Contact us if you'd like to get published today.

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