Driver Behavior

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.

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