Posted on April 21, 2014
Three-fourths of Texas drivers in a recent survey say they have talked on a cell phone behind the wheel within the past month, about the same number as those who reported speeding. Nearly half say they have texted while driving, slightly more than the number who ran a stop sign or red light.
Financial services provider USAA asked the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) to conduct the study to research attitudes and reported driving behaviors of drivers throughout Texas. The study, which was conducted between April 25 and May 30, 2013, utilized two different research methods to gain better insight on Texans’ opinions about distracted driving. The researchers first used a questionnaire in driver license offices around the state to gain a one-time, broad look at Texans’ driving habits. Focus groups were then used to collect more detailed answers on distracted driving issues.
Out of eight driving habits including speeding, texting, driving through red lights, talking on the cell phone and drunk driving, 76 percent of participants reported that they had talked on the cell phone at least once in the last month. The second most often reported behavior was exceeding the speed limit by 5 mph at 74.2 percent. Texting and driving was third with 44.2 percent of participants reporting they had read or written a text while driving in the last month. Respondents were also asked to report on other distracted driving activities they participate in while driving. The most frequently reported behavior that was considered to be more dangerous than being on a cell phone was eating while driving, which was reported by 25 percent of those who answered the question.