Drivers continue to struggle to obey state laws that prevent cell phone use, due in part by demands or pressure from work that lead drivers to read or send emails while driving. - Photo: NSC

Drivers continue to struggle to obey state laws that prevent cell phone use, due in part by demands or pressure from work that lead drivers to read or send emails while driving.

Photo: NSC

Drivers continue to struggle to obey state laws that prevent cell phone use, due in part by demands or pressure from work that lead drivers to read or send emails while driving, according to a survey released by the National Safety Council (NSC) and TRUCE Software.

In the survey of 2,001 registered drivers ages 25 and older across the country, 46% say “demands or pressure from work” leads them to glance at, read, or send emails while driving. 

Further, NSC and TRUCE said it urges employers to promote a safe driving culture, something the survey indicated many companies may not foster effectively enough. Since October is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, NSC and the observation’s lead sponsor, TRUCE, a company dedicated to decreasing workplace distraction and improving worker safety, are urging employers to enact distracted driving policies at their workplaces to compensate for many drivers’ unwillingness to adhere to state laws.

“Employers are in a unique position to influence behaviors across large groups of individuals by making sure they have the right policies in place and the tools to enforce those policies, changing not just what happens behind the while but also how the rest of the organization communicates with their driving coworkers,” said Joe Boyle, CEO of TRUCE.

The study also observed that approximately 62% of drivers are “very willing” to obey cell phone use laws.

Thousands die each year in distracted driving crashes, though National Safety Council investigations show these crashes are significantly underreported and undercounted, according to the coucil. Despite 48 states banning texting while driving, and 25 states banning handheld use, drivers responding to the NSC-TRUCE survey indicated it will take more than laws to change their behaviors.

Approximately, 61% said they would need to be involved in a near-miss – and 59% said they would have to be involved in a fatal crash – to be dissuaded from using technology while driving. Another 58% cited state laws and 52% cited federal laws as being enough to change behavior. Encouragingly, 56% said they believe employers policies are effective distracted driving deterrents.

Other important findings from the poll include:

  • More than 65% of drivers would be willing to turn around to get their phone if they realize they didn’t have it within the first 15 minutes of driving.
  • 81% of drivers said they’ve seen other drivers almost cause a crash because they were distracted.
  • 59% of respondents say pressure from family would motivate them the most to answer or make a cell phone call while driving.
  • Nearly 14% of drivers admitted they would participate in video chat or watch streaming video if there were no laws prohibiting it.
  • 32% of drivers still think they can use their phone safely as long as they pay attention to the road.

Also, 57% say that if their vehicle came pre-set with solutions to eliminate distraction while driving, they would not turn the features off.

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