Poll Reveals Shifting Attitudes Toward Distracted Driving

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Distracted driving may prove to be the defining topic of this decade’s highway safety efforts, but a new study reveals that some drivers may finally be getting the message that distraction has no place at the wheel.

The AutoTECHCAST poll from Harris carried out in April and May of this year sought to acquire the opinions of 13,718 drivers from around the country who own a vehicle of a recent model year and who will be involved in the next vehicle purchasing decision.  Although distraction is still prevalent, if the poll is to be believed, it is being reduced ever so slightly.

Last year, 84% of drivers queried explained that they had submitted to at least one distraction at the wheel on a monthly basis.  This year, that dropped slightly to 82%.  On average, consumers reported taking a phone call 4.6 times during this period, which is lower than the 5.5 calls reported during last year’s timeframe.  Email usage declined from 1.9 on average to 1.4.

It should be noted that the average number of overall distractions during the period is still high even though it has been reduced slightly.  33.8 instances of distraction cropped up in 2013, a slight reduction from the 36.5 distractions of last year.

The poll has also revealed that more and more consumers are seeking out various safety technologies in their newly purchased automobiles.  Backup cameras were the leading request among drivers, followed by adaptive headlamps and blind spot warning assistance.