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State Farm survey: Drivers still sneaking cellphone use

November 24th, 2014

Drivers know they should ignore their phones, but a new survey shows they’ll still sneak a look or swipe under certain conditions.

635519161115980283-01abd826-b913-4340-8c65-2bcb4f8085c9• Is this you? 63 percent of drivers in the survey said they are more likely to use their cellphones stopped at red lights than during other times behind the wheel, according to a study released Tuesday from State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company.

• Here’s a frightening admission: 30 percent said they were more likely to fiddle with their phone on an open highway. Yikes.

• However, more than 90 percent of drivers said they were less likely to touch their phones when it’s icy, snowy or foggy. Some 75 percent said they are less inclined to use them when it’s dark or when they are in heavy traffic.

The survey also found that electronic devices behind the wheel are risky in more than one way. 70 percent of drivers said they use their smartphone’s GPS to listen to directions. In 2009, just 41 percent of driver relied on their phones for GPS.

While the percentage of people talking on hand-held devices has declined since 2009, a larger percentage of drivers admit to reading email and social media on their phones.

Interestingly, even though many drivers in the survey admitted to breaking the law, they also supported harsh penalties.

54 percent said they supported prison sentences for drivers who caused a fatal crash while using a cellphone.

• 36 percent supported license suspension/revocation for drivers who caused a crash with a serious injury.

The annual survey from the State Farm Strategic Resources Department included 1,000 drivers over the age of 18 who own a cellphone.

*this article appeared today in the Journal News

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