PEMCO Poll: Nearly Half of Northwest Drivers Use Phones Behind the Wheel

June 20, 2016

Seattle-based PEMCO Insurance announced 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.” That’s according to a poll the insurer commissioned in late 2015.

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.

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.

PEMCO Insurance commissioned this independent survey, conducted by FBK Research ofSeattle, that askedWashingtonand Oregonresidents questions about driving habits and attitudes toward current Northwest issues. The sample size, 600 respondents inWashingtonand 600 inOregon, 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, the company said.

PEMCO’s poll was conducted by FBK Research of Seattle in November 2015.

Source: PEMCO Insurance

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