Distracted drivers who should or do know better are continuing to talk on cell phones while on the roads, according to recent research. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety announced drivers continue to text and use their cell phones despite being aware of the dangers. The Foundation’s 2011 Traffic Safety Culture Index survey found 95 percent of drivers consider it dangerous when other drivers text or email, yet 35 percent admitted to doing so within a month of the survey ensuring their auto insurance quotes will go up if caught.
“This research continues to illustrate a ‘Do as I say, not as I do’ attitude that persists among drivers, and perpetuates the threat of cell phone use while driving,” said AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety president and CEO Peter Kissinger.
Compared to the danger perceived in texting, only 88 percent of respondents considered it dangerous for them to use a cell phone while driving. Out of those surveyed, two-thirds said they had done so within the last 30 days.
Parents and Teens
Another recent survey by auto insurance provider State Farm collected information on 517 pairs of parents and their teens learning to drive. This survey determined that, while parents told their teens not to use their phones or text while driving, many still did so themselves and offenders were punished with inflated car insurance quotes.
In addition to using phones and electronic devices while driving, they also used them while teaching their children to drive. More than half of the teens reported seeing their parents use devices while driving, and 43 percent of the parents said they had done so with their teens in the car.
During teaching sessions, more than 60 percent of the teens reported their parents were distracted by a cell phone or electronic device. Examining the results, a representative of the insurance provider noted the distraction during teaching is a major concern.
In addition to the immediate danger, distracted driving while teaching reinforces poor behavior patterns in both parent and teen drivers. Many of the survey respondents indicated more practice was necessary. While nearly a quarter of parents thought they had not taken their teens to practice enough, almost a third of the teens wanted more time to learn.
The two surveys together show a pattern of drivers knowing the dangers distracted driving poses, but either underestimating or ignoring those dangers when they are the ones doing it. Across the nation, 34 states now have laws against