Columbus (OH) - Almost all Americans think they are safe drivers, but a new survey shows otherwise. The second annual Nationwide Insurance DWD or Driving While Distracted survey found that 98% of drivers think they are safe, but that 72% of them drive while distracted. Nationwide claims that distractions like mobile phone usage, text messaging and eating cause a great majority of accidents. The company also says societal pressure to immediately respond is the main reason that people use phones while driving.
"We found Americans think they’re safe drivers, even though they admit to driving while distracted," said Bill Windsor, Associate Vice President of Safety for Nationwide Insurance.
According to government figures, there are 115 road fatalities daily and distracted drivers cause 80% of all accidents. Furthermore 40% of those polled said they’ve been hit or almost hit by drivers who were talking on cellphone.
The phone survey was conducted in April and sampled 1503 drivers (749 male and 754 female) between the ages of 16 and 61. Nationwide Insurance split up the respondents into the following categories: Teens were from 16 to 17-years-old, Generation Y were 18 to 30, Generation X from 31 to 44 and Baby Boomers were 45 to 61-years-old
Surprisingly the survey shows that older drivers aren’t necessarily wiser and that teenagers are most likely to stop or pull over to text message or talk on the phone. 60% of teenagers admitted to doing distracting tasks like using mobile phones, texting or even eating while driving while 78 and 80 percent of Generation X and Y adults said they did other tasks while driving. The percentage drops to 65% for the Baby Boomers.
Windsor says, "Distracted driving has taken over our roadways, and our survey shows that no one is immune."
Nationwide Insurance suggests that the lower rate for teenagers might not necessarily mean they are smarter, but may stem from tougher graduated license laws or increased parental control.
So what forces people to immediately grab their phones when they ring? Two-thirds of those polled believed their friends or family expects them to be always available. Apparently this belief compels them to ignore all common sense and answer the phone while behind the wheel.
Personally I’d say just ignore the call when you’re driving. No call is that important for you to risk your life.
You can read the entire survey here.