Ann Avery, the Nebraska spokeswoman for State Farm Insurance, says they have data from seven years of driver surveys.
“Talking on a hand-held cellphone has decreased while driving from 65% in ’09 to 51% in 2015,” Avery says. “Texting while driving has stayed about the same, a slight increase, but accessing the internet while driving has more than doubled, from 13% in 2009 to 29% in 2015.”
Avery says other numbers in the survey raise concern, too, showing more drivers are using GPS, or reading and responding to emails, or they’re updating social media.
Drivers were asked what it would take to get them to put their phones. “And their answers were: causing a crash while reading or responding to a text message, financial and/or legal consequences that might result, and thirdly, getting caught by police,” Avery says. “So, these responses do highlight that there are some things that will deter people. It encourages us to consider a multi-pronged approach to curbing distracted driving.”
The survey found 88% of drivers now have smartphones. Talking on a cell phone while driving is legal in Nebraska, though not for drivers under 18. Also, all Nebraska drivers are banned from texting.