Texting and driving is banned in 46 states, and mobile phone use is banned for young drivers in 30 states, but drivers on U.S. roads know their counterparts are still easily distracted.
A recent survey by automotive pricing site Kelly Blue Book found that a whopping 97% of drivers consider distracted drivers their greatest concern on U.S. roads. Distracted drivers are more feared than impaired drivers (75%), road rage (50%) and weather conditions.
“Mobile phone technology offers enhanced convenience and connectivity for consumers, but it is increasingly a source of distraction on the road,” says Arthur Henry, senior manager of strategic insights for Kelley Blue Book.
Among those surveyed, 91% are aware of current local laws pertaining to texting while driving. However, 81% of respondents are quick to blame Millennials between the ages of 19 and 34 for texting behind the wheel. Roughly 66% of all respondents think 19- to 25-year-olds text most often while driving, followed by 26- to 34-year-olds and 15- to 18-year-olds at 15% each. However, given that 20% of total respondents say they text while driving -- 55% of respondents between the ages of 18 and 34 report likewise -- there are folks outside of that key demographic who may be protesting just a bit too much.
Consider that, as a whole, 41% of drivers don't feel texting affects their ability to drive (hint, it totally does). In all, 62% of respondents report texting while at a standstill, 2% while in motion, and 36% while both at a standstill and while in motion. It isn't just the kids, folks.
“Almost half of consumers [47%] send text messages while driving, because they feel it can’t wait,” said Rebecca Lindland, senior director of commercial insights for Kelley Blue Book. “In order to combat this issue, friends, family and colleagues need to develop situational awareness and avoid texting someone when we know they are driving in an effort to keep them and other drivers out of harm’s way.”
But why does it matter, you ask?