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Gadgetology Report on Driving While Texting

One Third of Drivers are DWT
With the recent flurry of discussions about the danger of using mobile devices while driving, consumer electronics shopping site Retrevo, asked a panel of online individuals about their use of mobile devices in the car. What we found was not very surprising but no less alarming.

The Gadgetology study revealed that 34% of respondents said they text, use Facebook, or Twitter while driving furthermore, over 7% of all respondents said they do it frequently.

How often do you text/twitter/check-facebook while driving?
Seniors are Safer
Florida car insurance agents may have a different perspective on this, but at least where texting is concerned, seniors might be less of a danger to other drivers than juniors. The Gadgetology report shows 16% of drivers under the age of 25 are very active social media users while driving while 94% of drivers over the age of 55 say they never text or check one of the social media sites while driving.
How often do you text/twitter/check-facebook while driving? (by Age)
Blame it on the Bad Apples
Smartphone owners and particularly iPhone owners are much more likely to be texting and checking in on Facebook or Twitter while driving. An alarming 15% of iPhone owners say they're reading and writing on their iPhones frequently while driving. Blackberry owners come in second with 9% while 83% of non-smartphone owners say they never engage in driving while texting.
How often do you text/twitter/check-facebook while driving? (by Type of Phone)
Those Male Drivers
Not only do men not ask for directions but they seem to be less safe drivers than women when it comes to texting. The study found that more men than women are tapping away on their cell phones while driving. The difference is only slight but the data shows 8% of men in our study said they text and check Facebook or Twitter frequently compared to 7% of the women.
Is There a Solution?
We're no experts on human behavior but we suspect that even if you outlaw texting and driving, you'll never get people to stop doing it entirely, especially young people. So why not apply some ingenuity and bring technology to the bear on the problem. How about these ideas for starters?

  • Smarter cars that automatically slow for red lights and stops signs.

  • Cars that know when they are veering into another lane.
  • Cars that know when they are getting too close to another car.
  • Smartphones or in-car devices that know when a driver is texting while driving maybe using some combination of GPS, camera, or in-car sensors and then disabling those texting functions.
  • Better speech to text and text to speech.
  • Build Bluetooth into every car.

How about you? What do you think is the solution to driving while texting?

About the Gadgetology Report

The Retrevo Gadgetology Report is an ongoing study of people and electronics from Retrevo, the consumer electronics shopping site.

The data for this report came from a study of online individuals (non-Retrevo customers) conducted by an independent panel. The sample size was 771 distributed across gender, age, income and location in the United States. The responses have a confidence interval of 2.8% at a 95% confidence level.

For more information contact:
Jennifer Jacobson
Director of Public Relations
jennifer@retrevo.com

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