Friday, December 12, 2014

Distracted drivers: More than half use cellphones

From:  The News Star

According to research posted by, 52 percent of drivers admit they have talked on a cellphone while driving and 34 percent say they have texted while driving.

And that’s despite their understanding of the danger, according to State Farm Insurance Co.’s sixth annual distracted driving survey.

Eighty percent of the drivers surveyed by State Farm reported sending a text is “very distracting,” while 68 percent view reading a text as “very distracting.”

State Farm’s survey shows drivers believe cellphone usage can be more or less dangerous depending on conditions.

Sixty-three percent said they were more likely to use their cellphones while stopped at a red light, for instance, while 78 percent said they were less likely to use their cellphones in heavy traffic.

“It was interesting to see the overwhelming majority of drivers recognize some driving circumstances and conditions are more dangerous than others — ice and snow, foggy conditions, heavy traffic, rain, nightfall — and so they decrease cellphone use at those times,” said Gary Stephenson, State Farm’s Louisiana spokesman.

“That indicates they recognize cellphone use is a distraction,” Stephenson said. “However, if not in a perceived dangerous condition, cell phone use and distraction continues to be common among drivers. It’s important for every driver to always realize safe driving focus is important in good weather or bad weather and on an open road or a congested one.”

According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, 80 percent of collisions are caused by driver inattentiveness.

Eyes on the road?

52 percent: Drivers who admit to using cell phones.

80 percent: Collisions caused by distracted drivers.

80 percent: Drivers who own a cell phone, up from 52 percent in 2011.

63 percent: Drivers who said they are more likely to use their cell phone when stopped at a red light.

78 percent: Drivers who said they were less likely to use their cell phone in heavy traffic.

Sources:; National Highway Transportation Safety Administration; and State Farm Insurance Co.’s Sixth Annual Distracted Driving Survey.