Nearly 25% of motorists say they’re distracted by technology while driving

Travelers Risk Index finds most people are aware of risks, but many still engage in the behaviour

An overwhelming majority of motorists say it’s extremely risky to use digital devices while behind the wheel, but nearly 25% of them do so anyway, according to the latest Travelers Risk Index.

The survey found a quarter of respondents multitask while driving because they think they can balance both safely, while about one in 10 admitted to being frequently distracted by technology. A total of 61% who respond to texts, calls and emails while in the driver’s seat say it’s because they’re worried it could be an emergency, while 23% say they’re concerned about missing out on something important.

Related: Business interruption greatest weather-related concern: Travelers survey

“These survey results are very telling. There’s clearly a disconnect between drivers’ perception of what is safe and the reality of what is happening on our roads. Lives are being lost to distracted driving–related collisions,” Joan Woodward, Travelers’ executive vice-president of public policy, said in a news release.

Furthermore, only 12% of respondents turn on “auto-reply,” “do not disturb while driving” or similar features on their phones, despite the features being widely available.

Travelers also partnered with TrueMotion’s smartphone telematics apps to monitor drivers’ behaviours and found that 40% are distracted for an average of 15 minutes per each hour they’re behind the wheel.

The online survey was conducted by Hart Research in March 2018, and involved a total of 1,000 customers between the ages of 18 and 69.

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