Katelyn Leondi / (973) 948-9372 / Katelyn.Leondi@Selective.com
Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety
Pete Daniels / (301) 442-2249 / PDaniels@SafeRoads.org
SELECTIVE INSURANCE AND ADVOCATES FOR HIGHWAY AND AUTO SAFETY RELEASE NATIONAL SURVEY LEADING INTO DISTRACTED DRIVING AWARENESS MONTH
Findings include startlingly high rates of mobile device use while driving, one in three Americans linked to a distracted driving crash involving mobile device use, and strong support for strategies to address distracted driving
BRANCHVILLE, N.J., and WASHINGTON, D.C., March 30, 2022 – Nearly three-quarters (70%) of licensed drivers used a mobile device while driving for personal reasons in the past 90 days, according to a new survey commissioned by Selective Insurance (“Selective”) and Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (“Advocates”) and conducted online by The Harris Poll earlier this month among over 2,000 U.S. adults, of whom over 1,800 are licensed drivers. This alarmingly high number rose even further among Americans who drive for work, with 86% reporting mobile device use when driving for work in the last three months.
“On top of a surprisingly high number of employees who drive for work using a mobile device while driving for work, almost a third (29%) participated in a video call while driving,” said Brenda Hall, Executive Vice President, Commercial Lines Chief Operating Officer at Selective. “April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. With more drivers back on the roads and the increasing popularity of virtual work and video calls, it’s more important than ever that employers develop and enforce distracted driving policies to keep employees and the general public safe on the roads.”
The online survey found that nearly one in three Americans (31%) had either been in a crash or knew someone who had been in a crash involving distracted driving with a mobile device. Americans aged 18-44 are more likely to say they or someone they know has been in a car crash involving distracted driving with a mobile device (46%) compared to Americans aged 45+ (18%).
Cathy Chase, President of Advocates, said, “The number of people killed in crashes involving distracted driving exceeded 3,000 in the U.S. in 2020. More than 420,000 people were injured in 2019, the most recent year for which data is available. This survey reveals the deadly and dangerous decisions by drivers contributing to this horrific fatality and injury toll. Additionally, one in three people involved in or knowing someone in a distracted driving crash where mobile device use was a factor should send off blaring alarms that urgent action is needed to address this public health calamity on our roadways. The public understands this hazard and strongly supports numerous strategies to prevent distraction and its impacts, especially requiring advanced vehicle safety technologies in all new vehicles, which continues to be a top priority of Advocates.”
When asked about different tactics to effectively reduce rampant distracted driving involving mobile device use or its impact:
- 58% of Americans cite requiring advanced safety technologies as standard in all new vehicles
- 57% cite higher penalties and traffic fines
- 50% cite comprehensive state laws that limit mobile device use while driving to directions or emergency purposes only
- 29% cite questions on the dangers of distracted driving and prevention in the driver’s license test
Chase continued, “Advocates calls on the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to take heed of the support shown in this survey and expeditiously issue safety standards for automatic emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian and bicyclist detection and other proven safety technologies for new vehicles. Moreover, state legislatures should pass comprehensive laws limiting mobile device use while driving to directions or emergency purposes only, as was supported by half of respondents. This Distracted Driving Awareness Month must be the time our nation’s leaders intently focus and move forward on advancing answers.”
This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of Selective Insurance and Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety from March 3-7, 2022 among 2,073 U.S. adults ages 18 and older, among whom 1,848 are licensed drivers. The sampling precision of Harris online polls is measured by using a Bayesian credible interval. For this study, the sample data is accurate to within + 2.8 percentage points using a 95% confidence level. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact Katelyn.Leondi@Selective.com
Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety is an alliance of consumer, medical, public health, law enforcement and safety groups and insurance companies, including Selective Insurance Group, and insurance agents working together to make America’s roads safer. Advocates’ mission is the adoption of federal and state laws, policies and programs that prevent motor vehicle crashes, save lives, reduce injuries, and contain costs. For more information, visit www.saferoads.org.
Selective Insurance Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: SIGI) is a holding company for 10 property and casualty insurance companies rated “A+” (Superior) by AM Best. Through independent agents, the insurance companies offer standard and specialty insurance for commercial and personal risks and flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program’s Write Your Own Program. Selective’s unique position as both a leading insurance group and an employer of choice is recognized in a wide variety of awards and honors, including the Fortune 1000 and being named a Great Place to Work® in 2021. For more information about Selective, visit www.Selective.com.