A blog post

Drivers Understand But Often Ignore Risks of Texting or Talking on Cell Phone

By: Jeffrey Lapin

The AAA Foundation recently released its Fourth Annual Traffic Safety Culture Index, which found that despite a driver’s knowledge and beliefs about the risks of involved with driving and texting, emailing and talking on a cell phone while driving, many drivers perform these activities anyway. Some of the findings include:

TEXTING/ EMAILING WHILE DRIVING

Beliefs

  • 95% of drivers said they consider other drivers text messaging or emailing while driving to be a serious threat to their personal safety; and
  • 94% said they consider texting or emailing while driving to be unacceptable.

Actions

  • 35% admitted to having read or sent a text message or email while driving in the last month
  • Of these 35%:

□   54% admitted to reading text messages or emails while stopped at red lights fairly often or regularly;
□   35% said they type text messages or emails at red lights fairly often or regularly;
□   27% admitted reading text messages or emails while driving on a residential street with no traffic fairly often or regularly;
□   15% said they type texts or emails fairly often or regularly;
□   16% admitted to reading text messages or emails while driving on a freeway with heavy traffic fairly often or regularly; and
□   9% said they type text messages or emails while driving on a freeway in heavy traffic fairly often or regularly.

TALKING WHILE DRIVING

Beliefs

  • 88% of drivers said they consider talking on a cell phone while driving to be a serious threat to their personal safety;
  • 71% of drivers said they consider it unacceptable to talk on a hand-held cell phone while driving; and
  • 40% consider it unacceptable to use a hands-free device.

Actions

  • 67% also admitted that they had talked on a cell phone while driving in past month with 31% saying they did so fairly often or regularly.
  • Of these 67%:

□   55% admitted to answering a call while stopped at a red light more than half the time;
□   32% said they make calls at red light fairly often or regularly;
□   44% admitted to answering a call while driving on a residential street with no traffic more than half the time;
□   26% said they make calls on a residential street doing so fairly often or regularly;
□   28% admitted to answering a call while driving on a freeway with heavy traffic more than half the time; and
□   15% said they make calls on the freeway fairly often or regularly.

LEGISLATIVE SUPPORT

  • 87% of drivers expressed support for having a law against reading, typing, or sending a text message or email while driving;
  • 70% of drivers support having a law against using a hand-held cell phone while driving for all drivers regardless of age; and
  • 50% of drivers support having a law against using any type of cell phone while driving, hand-held or hands-free, for all drivers regardless of age.

Source: AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety: Heads Up Driving Week – Fact Sheet

The report showed, at least as to driving and texting or talking on a cell phone, that most drivers understand the risks of driving while texting/ talking on a cell phone and want laws passed to prevent it. However, what they say and what they do are not the same. Many drivers ignore the risks and text and talk on their cell phone. These drivers put both themselves and everyone around them at risk.

At Lapin Law Offices we understand the dangers of distracted driving through our representing people injured or family members who have been killed by a distracted driver. These injuries and deaths would not have occurred had the driver’s full attention been on what is most important: driving.

Other articles and information we have posted about distracted driving:

Alarming Statistics Regarding Distracted Driving
“Heads Up Driving Week”: October 2-8, 2011

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Jeffrey Lapin

Lawyer, Founder and Owner at Lapin Law Offices
I am a trial lawyer and the Founder and Owner of Lapin Law Offices. I represent injured, abused and disabled clients with caring, passion and dedication in Lincoln and throughout Nebraska.

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