KBB.com survey: Calls/texts Top Safety Concerns

By Bob Nagy on October 21, 2015 9:44 AM

A new poll by Kelley Blue Book found that 97 percent of respondents viewed drivers calling or texting behind the wheel as being the biggest single safety issue impacting today's motorists with Millennials identified as the chief offenders. The respondents also felt this threat significantly exceeds those posed by impaired/drunk drivers, road rage incidents and weather conditions. There are laws in 46 states restricting or banning drivers from using cell phones and/or texting while in a moving vehicle.

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Of the 1,281 individuals in the KBB.com sample, 81 percent believed Millennials between the ages of 18-34 were the most likely to text when behind the wheel. While 20 percent of the total respondent group admitted to texting while driving, that figure rose to 55 percent among the Millennials surveyed. Overall, 47 percent of all those who answered justified the practice by saying they felt a response just couldn't wait. "In order to combat this issue, friends, family and colleagues need to develop situational awareness and avoid texting someone when we know they are driving in an effort to keep them and other drivers out of harm's way," noted Rebecca Lindland, senior director of Commercial Insights for Kelley Blue Book. "Your text can wait."

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Although 76 percent of total respondents believe "technology that will make it safer/easier to communicate while in a vehicle" such as voice-to-text or text-to-speech would make them abstain from texting while driving, 27 percent said it still would take being involved in an accident to make them finally stop this dangerous practice. With respect to the general/Millennial data, 29 percent of total respondents admitted they or someone they knew almost got into an accident as the result of being on a cell phone, a figure that jumped to 50 percent among Millennials. Interestingly enough, where 59 percent of all respondents felt their ability to drive is compromised when texting, only 45 percent of Millennials believed that to be true.

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