June 8, 2006

Majority of U.S. adults still use cell phones while driving

Rochester, New York – Despite knowing that driving and talking on a cell phone at the same time is dangerous, and that it is safer to use a hands-free device to hold the cell phone, a large majority of American drivers with cell phones still talk on the cell phone and drive at the same time. This is especially true with younger adults. Even in states that have laws requiring the use of a hands-free device, many adults are not using the hands-free device.

These are some of the results of a Harris Poll of 2,085 U.S. adults surveyed online by Harris Interactive between May 9 and 16, 2006.

  • About three-quarters (73%) of adults who drive and have a cell phone say that they talk on their cell phone while driving. Two-thirds (67%) say that they sometimes talk on their cell and drive, while only six percent admit to doing this all the time. Just over a quarter of adults (27%) say that they never talk on their cell while driving.

  • Younger adults are more likely than their older counterparts to drive while talking on a cell phone. Almost nine in 10 (86%) Echo Boomers (those ages 18 to 29) say that they talk on their cell phone while driving, as compared to about half (48%) of Matures (those ages 61 and over).

  • For those who admit to talking on their cell phone while driving, a
    large majority (72%) say that they hold the cell phone. Only 28 percent say that they use a hands-free device that cradles the cell phone. Even
    those in states that have a hands-free law, just 55 percent say that they use the hands-free device, while the remaining 45 percent say that they hold their phone.

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