The vast majority of U.S. drivers believes handheld texting while driving is very dangerous and should be banned nationwide, according to a new national survey released by Ford.
The survey showed that 86% of U.S. drivers believe handheld texting while driving is “very dangerous” and 93% support a nationwide ban on texting. At the same time, only 42% of respondents believe drivers would stop texting behind the wheel if the practice was banned. However, more than 75% believe there would be more compliance if hands-free or voice-activated technologies were widely available.
The online survey was conducted September 18-21 by Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates on behalf of the Ford Motor Company. Ford commissioned the survey as part of its efforts to understand driver perceptions related to distracted driving. Ford last week endorsed a proposed nationwide ban on handheld texting introduced by Senator Charles E. Schumer and Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (Click here to see Ford’s statement).
The survey shows that 67% of drivers said they believed voice-activated technology is a safe alternative to texting, and 76% said such a feature would be an appealing feature in a car.
According to the survey, there is confusion among drivers over existing state laws prohibiting handheld cell phone use and/or texting while driving. Currently 18 states have enacted such bans but nearly 40 percent of drivers in these states indicated they were unaware of the ban in their own state.
Note: The Auto Alliance has also issued a press release supporting the ban of texting while driving.
The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers is a trade association of 11 car and light truck manufacturers including BMW Group, Chrysler, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Jaguar Land Rover, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi Motors, Porsche, Toyota and Volkswagen.