Drivers think distracted driving is causing more accidents than driving drunk, but a surprising number claim to be good at it

Source: Progressive

Drivers under 35 are ten times more likely than drivers 55 and older to think they can safely text and drive

MAYFIELD VILLAGE, Ohio — September 6, 2017 — A new Progressive Insurance study shows about one third of drivers feel confident in their own ability to text and drive, yet the majority believe distracted driving is the biggest cause of auto accidents and more than 90% say it should be illegal.

The starkest difference in attitudes is between younger and older drivers. More than 60% of 18-34 year olds are confident in their ability to safely text while driving compared to less than 6% of individuals 55 and older.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2015 alone, 3,477 people were killed, and 391,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers. Teens were the largest age group reported as distracted at the time of fatal crashes.*

“We hope this study starts conversations around distracted driving and how to reduce it. It’s especially interesting that most people recognize this activity is dangerous, yet many people feel confident in their own ability to text and drive,” said David Pratt, Business Leader of Usage Based Insurance at Progressive. “Based on early results with users of our Snapshot Mobile app, we’re optimistic that personalized feedback will encourage safer behavior. For years we’ve been helping Progressive customers improve their driving habits and save money with our traditional Snapshot program. Snapshot Mobile takes this to yet another level.”

Here are a few key findings from the study:

Young vs. Old

  • 62% of 18-34 year olds are very or somewhat confident in their ability to text while driving, while only 6% of individuals 55 and older felt the same confidence.
  • Yet, 64% of 18-34 year olds think texting or looking as a phone while driving is the most common cause of accidents.

Men vs. Women

  • Twice as many men (21%) as women (11%) are “very confident” in their ability to text while driving.
  • Despite that confidence, 88% of men and 97% of women think texting should not be allowed.

Among All Drivers

  • More than 65% of individuals polled believe that texting/looking at one’s phone while driving is the most common cause of traffic accidents in the US. And 83% of individuals believe police should be able to pull over drivers for texting alone. At the same time, 34% of respondents said they were somewhat or very confident in their ability to text while driving.
  • Individuals are most likely to think it is ok to engage with the following activities on their phone while driving: listening to music (43%), use a map (30%) and make a call (25%). This also corresponds with ways they interact with their phone when behind the wheel — Use a map app at a stoplight (37%), Use a map app while driving (35%), Look at an app at a stoplight (22%), Look at an app when stopped in traffic (21%), and Use a virtual assistant (like Siri) to search for a contact to make a call (19%)
  • The most common feelings evoked when seeing another driver texting is concern (62%) followed by irritation (50%). These top two feelings didn’t vary by age, gender.

About the Research
The study of drivers was developed by Progressive Insurance. It was a national online study conducted in August 2017 among general market, insured drivers, who are not Progressive customers. Approximately 1,000 individuals 18 years of age or older responded.

About Progressive
The Progressive Group of Insurance Companies makes it easy to understand, buy and use auto insurance. Progressive offers choices so consumers can reach it whenever, wherever and however it’s most convenient — online at, by phone at 1-800-PROGRESSIVE, on a mobile device or in-person with a local agent.

Progressive provides insurance for personal and commercial autos and trucks, motorcycles, boats, recreational vehicles, and homes. Home insurance is underwritten by select carriers, including American Strategic Insurance Corp. and subsidiaries (ASI), our majority owned subsidiaries.

Progressive is the fourth largest auto insurer in the country; a leading seller of motorcycle and commercial auto insurance; and through ASI, one of the top 20 homeowners carriers.

Founded in 1937, Progressive continues its long history of offering shopping tools and services that save customers time and money, like Name Your Price®, Snapshot®, and Service Centers.

The Common Shares of The Progressive Corporation, the Mayfield Village, Ohio-based holding company, trade publicly at NYSE:PGR.