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We all know that driving while talking on the cell phone is a distraction. Even if you say you're a good driver with superior multi-tasking skills, blabbing on a phone while piloting a two-ton automobile is a quick way to show that you are in fact not smarter than a fifth grader. Don't let Jeff Foxworthy and his band of miscreants shame you, though... nearly all of us have done it in a moment of weakness. A recent survey of 1,000 motorists found that 90 percent believe that talking on the phone while driving should be illegal. The flip side is that 51 percent of that same data set admit they have used their phone while out on the road.

The survey, sponsored by the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies, highlights an interesting paradox in our thinking – the "it won't happen to me" notion. A majority of us agree that doing something is dangerous yet we do it anyway, even when we think it should be illegal. We believe we're somehow better than the folks who get in the distracted-driving car accidents but we're exhibiting similar behavior. We eat food, send texts, read our Kindles, call mom and check e-mail while we should be paying more attention to the road. It's not just about making sure your vehicle is heading where it's supposed to go but to also maintain awareness of what's happening around you – and that's extremely difficult to do when typing out "LOL, OMG-guy nxt 2 me drvng CRZY!!11!"

Check out the official press release after the jump for more details on the survey.

[Source: Chubb Group]

Show full PR text
More Than Half of Motorists Use Cell Phones While Driving, But 9 of 10 Say Outlaw It

Although Few Admit to It, Many Say Others Shave, Apply Makeup and Change Their Clothes

WARREN, N.J., Sept. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- More than half of U.S. motorists say they have used a cell phone while driving, but nine out of 10 say it should be illegal to do so, according to a survey sponsored by the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies.

The 2010 Chubb Driver Distraction Survey asked 1,000 motorists throughout the United States about three types of cell phone uses while driving: talking with a hand-held phone, talking with a hands-free phone and texting. Of the 356 respondents who said they have talked on a hand-held cell phone while driving, 43% said it should be illegal to do so. Of the 315 respondents who have talked on a hands-free cell phone while driving, 11% said it should be illegal to do so. An overwhelming 80% of the 133 respondents who have texted while driving said that should be illegal. Almost a third of younger drivers (ages 18 to 34 years) said they have texted while driving.

Although 77% of respondents have observed other motorists apply makeup, shave and brush their hair, only 8% admitted to engaging in such personal grooming activities behind the wheel. In addition, 18% of respondents have seen others change their clothes while driving, but only 3% admitted to doing so themselves.

Nearly 5,500 people died in 2009 in crashes involving a distracted driver, and more than half a million were injured, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says that drivers who use hand-held devices are four times more likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves.

"Our survey shows a disconnect between how people view the dangers associated with distracted driving and their own behavior behind the wheel," said Raymond Crisci, vice president and worldwide automobile product manager for Chubb Personal Insurance. "We're hopeful that as people continue to become more educated regarding the hazards associated with distracted driving, they'll be less likely to engage in risky behavior."

Below is a summary of the survey results:

Which of the following activities have you engaged in while driving?

Eating or drinking - 63%
Changing CDs, radio stations or songs on an mp3 player - 57%
Using a cell phone - 51%
Hand-held - 36%
Hands-free - 31%
Texting - 13%
Arguing with unruly children - 19%
Personal grooming (makeup, shaving, brushing hair) - 8%
Changing clothes - 3%

Which of the following activities have you observed other motorists doing?

Using a cell phone - 97%
Hand-held - 93%
Hands-free - 78%
Texting - 75%
Eating or drinking - 90%
Personal grooming (makeup, shaving, brushing hair) - 77%
Changing CDs, radio stations or songs on an mp3 player - 62%
Arguing with unruly children - 62%
Changing clothes - 18%

Which of the following activities should be illegal while driving?

Using a cell phone - 90%
Texting - 87%
Hand-held - 66%
Hands-free - 28%
Changing clothes - 79%
Personal grooming (makeup, shaving, brushing hair) - 69%
Arguing with unruly children - 24%
Eating or drinking - 21%
Changing CDs, radio stations or songs on an mp3 player - 17%

The telephone survey of 1,000 Americans was conducted in May by Opinion Research Corp.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm intelligent enough to keep my attention on the road while driving at all times. I do not need the government to amend laws against obvious negligence/distractions behind the wheel.

      Too bad that people have lost their common-sense.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Talking, remember that I said "talking" while using an ear piece is no more dangerous than having a discussion with a passenger. Bending your head trying to hold a phone to your ear is stupid. Get an earpiece for cripes sake.

      Texting is out of the question and if you have to take notes, search for information, etc.... tell them that you will call them back and pull over.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Not surprising at all. Most of us will continue to do it until it's illegal. Similar to exceeding the speed limit....if seemingly everyone else is doing it, then what's the harm, especially when blazing through a construction zone? ;)
      • 4 Years Ago
      The worst thing: that picture is what some women may do daily while driving.
        • 4 Years Ago

        @ James Sonne:

        Yes, yes and yes. Couldn't have said it better.

        Now if we would just realize where are we going with this it would be even better. You see, talking on the phone is just one aspect. If you remove it, people will find the next best thing to distract themselves because, for them, DRIVING SUCKS. OK, then don't drive and hire a chauffeur. In line with "Why don't they eat croissants when they have no bread?".

        More seriously, I would prefer measures that will prevent them from getting distracted in the first place. To do so, we must invert ratio MT/AT in this country and make driving way more dangerous. Get rid of all 4 way stops and replace 50% of traffic lights with roundabouts. Let's see you texting then when you must use 4 limbs to drive the car without stalling and peel your eyes if you don't want to die. I'd prefer that multiple times to "OMG! We're ALL gonna die if we don't ban ____ (insert your favorite pet peeve)!!!"
        • 4 Years Ago
        I love driving and hate talking, so it seems entirely natural to me to ignore my phone when it buzzes.

        Interestingly, I do none of the other things on the list while driving, either. It has always struck me as sad and pathetic to shove a hamburger in my face while driving. I think I would start to cry uncontrollably if it ever came to that.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I don't have a problem with people driving on a cellphone. I have a problem with people driving BADLY while on a cellphone.

        First of all, if you are in a heated conversation, your mind isn't on the road...period. You can cost someone else their lives.

        As far as I'm concerned, bluetooth connections for cellular phones in cars should be STANDARD on all models. I just got an SRT8 300C with Uconnect. It works PERFECTLY with my iPhone4. Not only can you dial by voice, but it connects immediately without having to remember to push buttons. Calls are perfectly routed through the speakers and its easy to talk naturally. SYNC in Ford is even better.

        i just can't stand someone driving below the speed limit or taking dangerous turns while on a phone. Makes me wanna shout at em, but they already have their windows up.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I always find it interesting when some people profess to support allowing phone use while driving. Since studies have shown phone use (even hands-free) is as debilitating as .08 DUIs (with texting akin to severely impaired motoring), this mindset is analogous to the drunk stating "I'm fine to drive home - I drive better than the others on the road anyway".

        So I wonder, of that initial 'phone support' group, how many favor repealing DUI laws?
        • 4 Years Ago
        I don't think that using a phone while you drive should be illegal.

        I do, however, think THAT SPECIFIC LADY using a phone while driving should be illegal.
        • 4 Years Ago
        See, this picture illustrates the "Distracted Driving" hype perfectly. Everyone wants to blame cell phones and ban them in cars, but if you take the cell phone out of this picture the chick is STILL a dumbass and a danger to other drivers. You don't need a cell phone to be a distracted driver. You just need an inability to prioritize and a healthy sense of your own invincibility.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I won't talk on the phone while driving. After about two or three calls where I have to ask people to wait while I pull over, they stop calling.
      • 4 Years Ago
      You've gotta love morons who text/talk on their cellphones while driving. I guess it's the result of NOT HAVING A LIFE.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Exactly my thoughts. Only people that think their life is entirelly worthless would risk it to send a txt message.

        My life is worth more than 10 cents.
      • 4 Years Ago
      9 out of 10 drivers say it should be illegal? More of the same old "do as I say, not as I do" mentality. Cell phone bans in cities are worthless: completely unable to be enforced. Cops cannot be stationed watching every car that zips by to see who is on their cell phone -- they don't have the resources to devote to that nor should they. I would rather they be out there going after real criminals, not some soccer mom making her hairdressing appointment.
      • 4 Years Ago
      My take on phoning while driving : It should be allowed only when using a headset... not otherwise.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I happen to agree.
        Although there are some people that want it to be 100% illegal.
        Which i believe is just plain unrealistic.

        I think one hand only available for the wheel when holding a handset is a serious danger.
        How people do it, i'll never know, my arm gets tired after like 10 seconds holding a phone and driving
        The worst are the leaners that stick the phone between their head and shoulder.
        Can't see anything if you can't turn your head.

        I however feel that talking using a headset isn't any more dangerous than talking to your passenger.

        handhelds and texting=no

        BTW, wired headsets are only 3-5 bucks each on ebay, i buy half a dozen at a time and leave them all over the place.
        I know it's a bit old school at this point, but i can't seem to find a reliable bluetooth that nobody complains about.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Says who? That lying parasite LaHood and the retarded government-loving scum?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Big surprise. People are hypocrites.

      From an interview about The Checklist Manifesto:

      "We had 20% in our surveys [of doctors who adopted the checklist in a study] that still felt it was a pain, a waste of time; they didn't want to use it. Of course, we asked them a follow-up question: If they were having an operation, would they want the checklist? And 94% of them did.

      Read more: http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1950892,00.html#ixzz10Y6Ga2U5"
      • 4 Years Ago
      I don't like talking on the phone when driving...
      • 4 Years Ago
      classic cass of do as I say not as I do.
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