Study: 80 Percent Admit to Reading Texts While Behind the Wheel

(UNDATED) – DriversEd.comthe leading online driving school, today released its 2019 Distracted Driving in America Report. The second annual study, which is a follow-up to DriversEd.com’s 2018 inaugural report, examines drivers’ behind-the-wheel behaviors, providing insight into the extent to which Americans, while driving, engage in a number of dangerous activities – from vaping and driving, to swiping on dating apps and driving, to selfie-taking, to video watching and more.

Survey data found that of vape device users with a driver’s license, 54% admit to vaping while behind the wheel.

In addition, 80% of drivers admit to reading text messages while driving, and 67% of drivers admit to typing text messages while driving.

Meanwhile, 52% of Americans say vaping and driving should be illegal.

“The act of vaping by itself carries serious health risks, especially for young people. Vaping and driving take those risks and adds the dangers of both impaired driving and distracted driving. These numbers on vaping and driving are startling, and parents need to speak with their teen drivers on this issue – as the consequences of vaping and driving can be deadly,” said Laura Adams, safety and education analyst at DriversEd.com.

Among the additional behind-the-wheel behaviors that U.S. drivers admit to:

  • SWIPING AND DRIVING: Of dating app users with a driver’s license, 21% have checked a dating app on their phone at the wheel, while 15% have swiped and 15% have messaged a match. 
  • SELFIE-TAKING: 34% of drivers have taken a picture on their phone, while 13% have taken a selfie.
  • SOCIAL MEDIA: 22% have checked Facebook, while 16% have checked Instagram.  
  • VIDEO WATCHING: 12% have watched YouTube videos, while 10% have watched Facebook videos.
  • YELP AND MAPS: 55% have looked up directions on their phone, while 20% have used Yelp.
  • FOOD AND COFFEE: 64% have eaten, while 23% have spilled coffee.
  • CIGARETTES: 22% have smoked cigarettes while driving.

In previous studies, DriversEd.com has revealed that 55% of drivers admit to checking social media while driving, 49% admit to driving after at least one drink and 21% admit to driving while high from marijuana.

“Our study shows that 70% of drivers admit to reading texts at a red light. What many don’t realize is that checking your phone at a red light can be just as dangerous as—or even more dangerous than—texting while moving, particularly at a busy, heavily-trafficked intersection,” added Adams.

PARENT-TEEN DRIVING CONTRACT

“For families, one effective solution in the fight against distracted driving, and other dangerous behind-the-wheel behaviors is to create a parent-teen driving contract, which clearly outlines acceptable driving behaviors, unacceptable behaviors and the non-negotiable consequences of breaking the agreement,” said Adams.

DriversEd.com’s own parent-teen driving contract, which families are welcome to use, can be found at https://driversed.com/trending/parent-teen-driving-contract.

The full 2019 Distracted Driving in America Report – which includes additional insights and analysis – is available here.

Methodology

The 2019 Distracted Driving in America survey was conducted online using Survey Monkey. One thousand and sixty eight participants were polled, spanning across the United States, with the U.S. driving population represented by the 969 respondents who answered that they have a driver’s license, the vaping device user population represented by the 259 respondents who answered that they had used a vaping device in the past 12 months and the dating app user population represented by the 237 respondents who answered that they had used a dating app in the past 12 months. The demographics of those polled represented a broad range of household income, geographic location, age, and gender.

About DriversEd.com
DriversEd.com is the #1 online driving school—with courses offered directly, through partners and through some of the largest schools in the country. As the industry leader in teaching defensive driving, DriversEd.com is the premier destination for online driver education, and the go-to resource for driving safety-related tips, news and strategies. The site offers comprehensive solutions, including online driver’s education, in-car driving lessons, traffic school, insurance, telematics and more. DriversEd.com’s tools are geared towards developing safe, confident drivers well-prepared for a lifetime of safe driving. Visit the DriversEd.com website, and connect with DriversEd.com on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

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