29 Percent of Americans Do What Behind the Wheel?

March 8, 2011 No Comments »


You probably guessed it. Twenty-nine percent of Americans engage in romantic contact while driving, according to a poll conducted for InsuranceQuotes.com. That’s nearly one-third of all drivers!

We’ll leave it up to your imagination as to what acts were admitted to besides kissing and hugging.

Distracted Driving: The Real Culprit

The real story here is distracted driving. While 29% of Americans are distracted by amorous activity, 93% of Americans admit to driving while distracted, which includes…you guessed it…talking or texting on a cell phone while behind the wheel.

Shocker alert! Distracted driving increases your chances of being involved in an auto accident. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), “Sixteen percent of fatal crashes in 2009 were attributed to distracted driving.”

The Numbers

These statistics may likely lead to higher insurance premiums for Americans (how insurance companies make money).

Simply put, the more insurers pay out for insurance claims, the more you can expect to pay for insurance. The current state of the U.S. economy may delay the higher premiums, but if the trend continues, this is something to look out for in the future.

The survey pointed out that education and “smarts” don’t necessarily go hand-in-hand. Demographic data gathered during the survey showed those with a bachelors degree and income above $75,000 per year were more likely to drive distracted.

Of course, it’s this very group of people who have the money to purchase smart phones, and may be taking their work home with them, which might mean talking or texting while driving.

The poll found that 20% of “well-educated” (those with at least a bachelors degree) and 16% of “well-off” ($75,000 annual income) said they have been involved in a minor accident because of distracted driving. This compares to 11% of all motorists polled.

Further, but more closely matched, 41% of well-educated drivers and 35% of the high-income drivers admit to swerving out of their lane as a result of distracted driving as opposed to only 32% of all drivers polled in the InsuranceQuotes.com survey.

More frequent than accidents…and a good indicator one may occur…tickets received by well-educated and high-income drivers tell the same story. Twenty-two percent of well-educated drivers and 18% of high-income drivers admitted to being ticketed as a result of distracted driving, compared to 12% of all drivers polled.

Distracted driving by teen-agers is also on the rise as more and more teens get mobile phones and use them behind the wheel. A lack of overall driving experience coupled with other distractions is a recipe for insurance disaster. Read more about why car insurance is so expensive for a teenager.

The Final Word

Today’s world is full of distractions. Our attention is pulled in several directions at any given time.

It’s one thing to “steal” a little time at work to update your Facebook status or to ignore your significant other while sending a text message, but a whole other one to unnecessarily risk your life to text “LOL” to someone while driving.

Do society and your insurance budget a favor and attempt to keep both eyes and your brain on the road while driving 65 miles per hour in a 3,500 pound steel box. Life is already too short.

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