Study Shows High Rate of Texting for High-Risk Car Insurance Group

Attractive Blonde Woman Text Messaging on Her Cell Phone While Driving.Car insurance companies and government regulators have over the past few years put a heavy emphasis on the dangers of texting while driving, yet a new survey shows that a significant proportion of respondents continue to send and read messages from behind the wheel.

According to the Insurance Research Council (IRC), a survey of more than 1,400 motorists showed that nearly 1 in 5 respondents reported having texted while driving in the 30-day period preceding the study.

The figure suggests that drivers will engage in a practice even if they know it to be dangerous, considering that a recent Rasmussen poll showed 94 percent of Americans are opposed to the practice.

The IRC study provided a surprising insight into who’s most likely to text and drive.

Most parents know that cheap auto insurance for teenagers is hard to find due to the demographic’s reputation for being inexperienced and impulsive. But the study indicated that, despite the widely held notion that teens and young adults are most likely to text and drive, 25- to 39-year-old drivers actually are the most likely to have done so. While a little under a third of 16- to 24-year-old drivers told the IRC that they had texted from behind the wheel in the last month, 41 percent of motorists in the 25-to-39 category said they had engaged in the practice during the same period.

Taken all together, 18 percent of respondents had texted while driving in the preceding 30-day period. The group with the lowest rate was drivers 55 and older; only 5 percent of this group reported having engaged in the practice.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorists who use hand-held mobile devices increase their likelihood of getting into an injury crash by 400 percent.

The IRC press release announcing the study’s results did not indicate whether or how many respondents resided in states that have bans on mobile phone use while driving. The definition of “texting” used in the study was using a cell phone or smart phone to read, send or post a text message, instant message or comment.

About Ben Zitney
Benjamin Zitney has been covering the auto insurance industry for the past 2.5 years. Before coming to Online Auto Insurance News, he produced an extensive company history of the 30-year-old California Joint Powers Insurance Authority and worked at the Cal State Long Beach Daily Forty-Niner as a reporter, copy editor and news editor.

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