"Ninety percent of respondents believe that distracted driving is a somewhat or much bigger problem today than it was three years ago, yet they themselves continue to engage in the same activities," said
Motorists who fairly often or regularly used their cell phones over the last month also reported that they engaged in additional risky behaviors. The research shows:
- 65 percent also reported speeding
- 44 percent also reported driving while drowsy
- 53 percent also reported sending a text or email
- 29 percent also drove without a seatbelt
Conversely, drivers that reported never using a cell phone were much less likely to report additional risky behaviors:
- 31 percent reported speeding
- 14 percent reported driving drowsy
- 3 percent reported sending a text or email
- 16 percent drove without a seatbelt
Despite the near-universal disapproval of texting and emailing while driving (95 percent), more than one-in-four licensed drivers (27 percent) reported sending a text or email at least once in the past 30 days, and more than one-third (35 percent) said they read a text or email while driving. Young drivers age 16-24 were even more likely with more than half (61 percent) reporting having read a text or email while driving in the past month, while more than one-in-four (26 percent) reported checking or updating social media while driving.
"What concerns AAA is this pattern of risky behavior that even goes beyond cell phone use," said
Driver use of cell phones impairs reaction times and roughly quadruples crash risk. Additionally, the
AAA and the
The distraction data were collected as part of the AAA Foundation's 2012 Traffic Safety Culture Index, a nationally representative, probability-based survey of 3,896 U.S. residents ages 16 and older. The sample is representative of all U.S. households reachable by telephone or by regular mail. The questionnaire was made available in English and Spanish, and respondents were able to complete it in the language of their choice.