Distracted Driving Surges to Crisis Levels with Kids in Cars

A new survey commissioned by Selective and conducted by the Harris Poll examines the occurrence of distracted driving, and measures levels of awareness and concern about distracted behaviors across America.

Nearly nine in ten U.S. drivers (87%) have engaged in various distracted driving behaviors while operating a vehicle for personal reasons in the past 90 days, according to a new survey commissioned by Selective and conducted by The Harris Poll. What’s more, distracted driving isn’t just occurring while adults are alone in vehicles—80% of drivers who are parents of children under 18 say they do not always drive distraction-free when their children are in the car with them.

The online study found that the majority of U.S. adults (81%) are concerned about distracted driving impacting their safety on the road today, with 38% saying they are very concerned. Yet, the majority of drivers who have engaged in texting, reaching for something, or talking on a mobile device (not hands-free) while driving in the past 90 days have done so even though they consider these actions to be distracted driving (68%, 66%, 59%, respectively).

“Distracted driving is a public safety crisis on our roadways and is one of the leading causes of car crashes in the United States,” said Brenda Hall, Executive Vice President, Commercial Lines Chief Operating Officer, Selective Insurance. “Unfortunately, concern about the dangers of distracted driving isn’t enough to curb the behaviors that are diverting U.S. drivers’ attention from the road. Anything that distracts the eyes, hands, or mind from the task at hand is considered a visual, mechanical, or cognitive distraction, and research shows that it can take multiple seconds to regain focus on the road after a distraction.”

To help end the societal prevalence of distracted driving, Selective is spearheading various campaigns to engage its employees, customers, agents, and advocacy partners to inspire change to make roadways and communities safer. The campaigns focus on generating awareness of distracted driving behaviors as anything that diverts a driver’s attention, including eating, applying makeup, or changing the radio station, in addition to use of a mobile phone. Selective is calling on its constituents to be the change, be the voice, and set an example to eradicate distracted driving from our roads this month and beyond.

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