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Two surveys used in this analysis:
2008 Traffic Safety Culture Index
CARAVAN omnibus survey
What’s the Problem?
As of Dec 2007, 84% of U.S. population or 255 million people were cell phone subscribers The 2.1 trillion minutes used talking reflects a 300% increase from 2000. (CTIA-The Wireless Association)
Approximately 11% of drivers were using hand-held or hands-free phones while driving at any given moment during the day in 2007 (NHTSA)
Studies looking at phone records of crash-involved drivers have reported phone use while driving increases the risk of an accident by a factor of 4.
The Research AAA Foundation’s Traffic Safety Culture Index
Nationally-representative telephone survey of U.S. adults ages 18+
Conducted from October 25, 2007 through January 10, 2008 by NuStats, LLC
Surveyed a random sample of 2,509 U.S. adults on a variety of traffic safety issues, including cell phone use while driving.
Opinion Research Corporation’s CARAVAN
Nationally-representative cost-shared omnibus telephone survey
Surveys conduced from September 4 through September 8, 2008 included questions from the AAA Foundation on cell phone use while driving.
Survey Results Both surveys found more than half of all drivers admitted talking on a cell phone while driving in the past 30 days, specifically:
53% of drivers (TSC Index) and 61% (CARAVAN) report talking on a cell phone while driving at least occasionally
16-17% (both surveys) report doing this regularly
Surveys indicated that younger drivers are more likely to use a cell phone while driving the oldest age groups…
…but it’s not just young drivers.
Drivers aged 25-34 had highest rates of any cell phone use (TSCI) and of regular cell phone use while driving (both surveys)
Over half of drivers aged 45 to 54 reported using cell phones while driving at least occasionally (both surveys)
Rates of Driver Cell Phone Use by Age *Full bar = any usage Shaded portion = often or very often **Based on data collected in the AAA Foundation’s 2008 Traffic Safety Culture Index
Text Messaging while Driving Both surveys found that a significant minority of people admit reading or sending text messages or emails (hereafter “text messages”) while driving:
14% of drivers (TSC Index) and 17% (CARAVAN) report text messaging while driving at least occasionally
3% (both surveys) report doing this regularly
Young drivers (ages 18-24) were by far the most likely to do this
Text Messaging while Driving by Age *Full bar = any usage Shaded portion = often or very often **Based on data collected in the AAA Foundation’s 2008 Traffic Safety Culture Index
“Do as I Say, Not as I Do”
TSC Index survey found that 83% of drivers felt that drivers using cell phones was a serious problem But 46% of those same drivers later admitted to using a cell phone while driving!
People think hands-free is safer (It isn’t)
2 out of every 3 drivers* think that using a hands-free cell phone while driving is safer than using a hand-held phone...
…BUT virtually all studies have found that using hands-free phones while driving is no safer than using a hand-held cell phone.
*Based on data collected in the CARAVAN survey
“Too many Americans are driving around with a false sense of security that hands-free devices are somehow safer, which could be a deadly mistake.”-J. Peter Kissinger, AAA Foundation President & CEO
To view the full “Cell Phones and Driving: Research Update” report or find other information about traffic safety culture, go to www.AAAFoundation.org.
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is a 501(c)(3) public charity located in Washington, DC that is dedicated to saving lives and reducing injuries. It is supported by donations from AAA/CAA Clubs, AAA/CAA members, and other organizations associated with AAA/CAA.
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