The vast majority of drivers understand the danger cell phones present on our roadways, but survey data from Farmers Insurance reveals a significant gap between this belief and drivers' actual behavior.
According to the survey, 87% of drivers surveyed believe that people who use their phone behind the wheel pose a danger to others. Yet, 53% of those drivers admit to making a call behind the wheel and 45 percent admit to sending, reading or receiving a text message.
Gen Z and Millennial drivers surveyed also admitted to participating in video chats (32% collectively), posting to or viewing social media (28%), playing a game (27%) and streaming video (24%) while behind the wheel, suggesting younger drivers could face continued driving distractions as technology continues to evolve.
"It's understandable that today's drivers feel a conflict---people know that phones, and the distraction they introduce, pose a risk and can interfere with safe driving; however, phones can be tempting and pull our attention and focus," said Carolyn Wald, head of product innovation integration for Farmers. "With April being National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, we want to remind people that there are a few precautions and tools we can all use to help keep our attention focused where it belongs, and to help keep the roads safer for everyone."
Farmers offers its safe-driving app, Signal, to help drivers recognize behaviors that may be taking their attention off the road and earn a discount for focused driving.
The insurer also recently launched CrashAssist within the Signal app, a feature that can detect crashes and help connect drivers to emergency and support services. Signal users can receive push notifications should a crash be detected then be connected with emergency services, and get help reporting a claim.
After 2020 saw an 8% spike in traffic fatalities according to the National Safety Council, this month's observance of National Distracted Driving Awareness Month hits even closer to home as all drivers share a responsibility to practice focused driving when behind the wheel.
Wald recommends the following tips to help people stay safe when they hit the road:
Make your car a "no phone zone": It may seem like a no-brainer but limiting mobile phone use is one of the easiest ways to become a more focused driver. And don't forget...