Northwest Drivers: Illegal talking and texting isn't “too dangerous”

SEATTLE, June 15, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Despite overwhelming evidence proving the perils of distracted driving, the latest poll from PEMCO Insurance reveals that nearly half of Northwest drivers admit they illegally use their phones while driving – and a majority do it because they don’t think it’s “too dangerous.” What’s more, the worst offenders appear to be parents.

In a recent survey of Washington and Oregon residents, PEMCO found that about half of Northwest drivers (46 percent) admit to using their phone to talk or text while driving, at least on a few trips, when they know it’s against the law.

Of those who fess up to phone use, a majority (51 percent) explain that they do it because they don’t think the distraction is too dangerous in that moment. Others say they do it because they don’t think they’ll get caught.

“We all spot fellow drivers sneaking glances at their phones, probably even more frequently than drivers would like to admit. But our latest poll reveals a more troubling trend that these drivers aren’t taking the risks of distracted driving seriously,” said PEMCO spokesperson Derek Wing. “Even if it doesn’t seem dangerous in the moment, the reality is there is never a safe time to take your attention away from the road or your surroundings – the consequences aren’t worth it.”

According to the poll, the worst offenders pose threats beyond the obvious horror stories of distracted driving – they are parents of children under 18 who run the risk of teaching their teen drivers the dangerously bad habits of texting and talking while driving.

PEMCO found that two-thirds of parents with kids in the home say they knowingly use their phone illegally while driving on at least a few trips. Only about half as many drivers without kids (38 percent) say they do the same.

And a recent national study confirms that parents’ multitasking behind the wheel isn’t going unnoticed. About half of teens polled think using a cell phone is the most dangerous thing they see their parents do behind the wheel.

“Not only do parents need to focus on the road, but they need to set a good example for their teen drivers,” Wing said. “Teens – whom we are often quick to blame for phone-related offenses – are going to be more likely to learn safe driving habits if they see their parents following the law.”

For a complete summary of PEMCO’s poll results, visit www.pemco.com/poll, where you’ll find the responses collected by FBK Research of Seattle in November 2015.

About the PEMCO Insurance Northwest Poll
PEMCO Insurance commissioned this independent survey, conducted by FBK Research of Seattle, that asked Washington and Oregon residents questions about driving habits and attitudes toward current Northwest issues. The sample size, 600 respondents in Washington and 600 in Oregon, yields an accuracy of +/- 4.1 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. In other words, if this study were conducted 100 times, in 95 instances the data will not vary by more than the associated error range.

About PEMCO Insurance
PEMCO Insurance, established in 1949, is a Seattle-based provider of auto, home, boat, and umbrella insurance to Northwest residents. PEMCO Insurance is sold to consumers by the method they choose – phone, local community agents, or online. For more information, visit pemco.com.

CONTACTS:

Derek Wing
PEMCO Insurance
206.628.4622
Jon.osterberg@pemco.com

Kristi Herriott
Firmani + Associates Inc.
206.443.9357
Kristi@firmani.com

 

SOURCE PEMCO Insurance

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