Government Technology

Nine of 10 Americans Would Support New Laws to Ban Driving While Texting, According to New Poll

August 7, 2007 By

Nine out of ten (89 percent) American adults believe that sending text messages or emails while driving is distracting, dangerous and should be outlawed, according to a new survey commissioned by mobile messaging service Pinger, Inc. and conducted by Harris Interactive. Similar numbers (91 percent) of adults thought that drivers distracted by sending text messages or mobile email were as dangerous as drivers who had a couple of drinks. 

Even though the overwhelming majority of adults thought driving while texting is dangerous, two in three adults (66 percent) who drive a car and have used text messaging said they had read text messages or emails while they were driving, and 57 percent of the same population admitted to sending text messages or emails from behind the wheel.

"We all know that distracted driving is dangerous, especially when drivers take their eyes off the road to text message," said Greg Woock, CEO of Pinger. "But, as these numbers show, people want to stay connected when they're on the go. Pinger allows drivers to be productive in a way that's safer."

Combined with a hands-free headset, Pinger's instant voice messaging service is a safer way for drivers to stay in touch from the road. By simply calling Pinger, saying the name of a contact, speaking their message, and then hanging up, drivers are able to send a message to any U.S. mobile phone while keeping their eyes on the road.

State governments are starting to address the dangers of drivers distracted by text messaging. The state of Washington passed the nation's first ban on texting while driving in May of 2007 and at least six other states including New York, California and Florida are considering similar legislation.

The survey also revealed that:

  • 64 percent of adults who admitted to sending text messages while

     driving were between the ages of 18 and 34, while only 6 percent were

     55 or older

  • Men and women sent text messages while driving at equal rates

 Methodology for Survey 

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive via its QuickQuery omnibus on behalf of Pinger between June 29 and July 3, 2007 among 2,049 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online. 

With a pure probability sample of 2,049, one could say with a ninety-five percent probability that the overall results would have a sampling error of +/- 3 percentage points. Sampling error for data based on sub-samples would be higher and would vary. However, that does not take other sources of error into account. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

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