Auto Insurance Poll Shows Drivers Don’t Practice What They Preach

Cell phone buttonsA survey from the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies shows many Americans may not practice what they preach when it comes to distracted driving habits.

Of the 1,000 drivers interviewed by Opinion Research Corporation for the car insurance company’s survey, 51 percent said they have used a mobile phone in some capacity while operating a vehicle. Yet 90 percent of respondents said doing so should be illegal.

“Our survey shows a disconnect between how people view the dangers associated with distracted driving and their own behavior behind the wheel,” said Raymond Crisci, vice president and worldwide automobile product manager for Chubb Personal Insurance.

When it comes to specific cellphone activities, 87 percent of those polled said they though texting behind the wheel should be illegal, while 66 percent said hand-held use should be as well. Only 28 percent felt hands-free options should be made against the law.

Thirteen percent of those polled said they had texted while behind the wheel, and 36 percent said they used a hand-held cell phone.

Crisci said his company is hopeful motorists will change their ways regarding distracted driving once they become more informed of its dangers.

Officials in the government are also hoping that will be the case as they convened this week for the Transportation Department’s second Distracted Driving Summit. The meetings focused on the progress made in the last year regarding laws and ways to inform consumers about the risk involved in using a cell phone while behind the wheel.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, almost 5,500 were killed last year as the result of accidents caused by distracted driving, while another half million people were injured. Fatalities from these incidents accounted for 16 percent of all traffic deaths in 2009.

In addition to a health risk, driving while distracted can also impact a driver’s access to the lowest price auto insurance policies.

About John Pirro
John Pirro is a licensed fire and casualty insurance agent specializing in various aspects of the auto insurance industry. He worked in the auto body repair industry before taking a reporting position at Online Auto Insurance News.

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