Some 80% of motorists recently surveyed said they have talked on their phone while driving in the past 30 days — with 30% reporting they do so on a daily basis.
Conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) from January to March 2018, the goal of the survey was to determine precisely how people make use of their phones while behind the wheel.
Noteworthy, the majority who reported talking on the phone said they only do so hands-free.
Legislation that bans the use of hand-held cellphones appears to be working, according to the survey results. While only 14% of drivers surveyed in states that have a law against holding a cell phone said they sometimes engage in hand-held conversations, 31% of those who reside in a state without a hand-held phone ban do so.
Age plays a role in who talks on phones most often while driving. While seniors talk the least behind the wheel — just 36% reported doing so — middle-age drivers were the worst offenders. In fact, 64% of drivers age 30-59 said they talk on their phone a few times a week or more — either hands-free or hand-held.
The survey also explored if and how drivers manipulated a cellphone. Experts say manipulating a phone is especially hazardous, increasing the chances for a crash.
Yet 38% of drivers surveyed admitted to reading emails or texts while driving and 33% said they sent emails or texts, notes IIHS. In both cases, drivers 18-24 years of age were the worst offenders.