Although Tech is Distracting Drivers Do it Anyway 10% Close Calls Due to Tech

Browsing apps tops the list of driving distractions according to a recent Esurance survey. Nearly half of drivers distracted by viewing GPS navigation.

A new survey illustrates distracted driving behaviors and whether or not high-tech car features, such as lane departure warning and automatic braking, are making drivers less distracted. The survey was commissioned by Esurance and found that drivers are very distracted

The survey found that most drivers recognize that using technology like phones and GPS is distracting behind the wheel. However, they’re willing to do it anyway. Ninety-one percent of surveyed drivers believe that texting while driving is distracting, while more than half (53 percent) of them admit to doing it anyway.

Furthermore, drivers who reported long commutes are 2.5 times more likely to be distracted by their phones, GPS, or music (meaning, the more time we spend in our cars, the greater the chance that sooner or later we’ll give in to the lure of some type of distraction, usually tech related).

Texts, emails and browsing top the list of distractions with 92% using apps, 91% texting and ant 54% talking on the phone.

There is good news.Nearly half (46%) of new-ish car drivers with semi-autonomous tech feel the features help enhance their on-road behavior, while 10% believe it hinders their driving.

The report notes that “Tiffany, age 34, is one of 15 new owners of high-tech cars interviewed by Esurance. She recalls an instance when she was pregnant and became tired while driving: “When I didn’t notice that traffic stopped ahead, the auto brake went on and saved me from a potential accident.”

Even drivers who self-identify as rarely distracted drivers engage in risky driving behavior, according to an Esurance survey on distracted driving.

One respondent proclaimed ” I have to keep messing with the screen to get what I want.” Some drivers are actually disabling these safety features. One out of four drivers who sought out tech in their new vehicles have since deactivated at least one feature. And overall, drivers with in-car tech tend to be slightly more distracted than those without it—29 percent admit that the warning sounds themselves (when you drift into another lane, for example) can be distracting.

  • Even if truly self-driving cars were available now, most drivers aren’t ready to give up the wheel—only 17 percent of surveyed drivers would sacrifice driving control to safely multi-task on the road.
  • Fifty-eight percent of drivers surveyed admit to some level of distracted driving, whether that’s texting or navigating while driving. Not surprisingly, the survey respondents noted basic tech like mobile devices as the leading cause of their distraction (31 percent), followed by other drivers (30 percent) and personal distractions like interacting with other passengers and eating (20 percent).
  • Thirty percent of drivers say they give in to distractions when they’re too busy or are multi-tasking, while another 25 percent will pick up their phone simply because they’re bored.
  • One out of 10 surveyed has personally experienced a close call or accident caused by their own distracted driving. Another three out of 10 know someone who has experienced a distracted driving accident or close call.