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State Farm Annual Survey Reveals Reasons For Risky Driving Behaviors
Updated April 5, 2017 6:53 AM
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(UNDATED) - Results of the eight annual State Farm distracted driving survey point to continued dangerous activity behind the wheel. The report follows major trends in cellphone use and explores many of the distractions that take eyes, hands and minds off driving.

Nearly all drivers, 91 percent, reported owning a smartphone, and more than half say they use them while driving. Though distracted driving continues to be all too common, the news is not all bad. After several years of steady increases in distracting cellphone activities, only taking pictures and recording videos saw significant increases this year.
Survey Results:

  • 50% talk on a hand-held phone
  • 35% text while driving
  • 29% access the internet while driving
  • 26% read email behind the wheel; 21% respond
  • 22% access social networks
  • 23% take pictures; 14% record video
  • 93% talk to passengers; 23% attend to children; 21% attend to pets in the car
  • Drivers also report listening to loud music, eating, speeding and driving tired as other risky behaviors.

Relationship between cellphone use and crashes

The report shows a significant relationship between self-reported rates of cellphone use and self-reported number of crashes. People who indicated they use their cellphones while driving were more likely to have been in a crash compared to those who said they rarely or never use their phones while driving.

Drivers know the risk, but can't resist

Survey respondents reported using smartphones while driving despite finding them distracting. And despite thinking the behavior increases the likelihood of a crash. When asked why, they provided reasons such as improved efficiency, need to stay in touch, habit, searching for information on the internet, and seeing something they want to share.

Reasons for These Behaviors:

  • Good use of time
  • Staying in touch with family & friends
  • Helps to stay awake
  • Bored while driving

The survey was conducted as part of our ongoing research into highway safety issues. It did not involve any policyholder claim information.

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