More motorists are texting and driving, survey finds
Do you sometimes text and drive? A new survey, conducted in conjunction with Distracted Driving Awareness month, finds the percentage of New Jersey drivers who do is on the rise.
"Thirty-three percent admitted they had been texting and driving in 2015, compared with 26 percent in 2014," said Valerie Simon, the chief of strategic marketing for Plymouth Rock Assurance.
She said even though more drivers are texting while operating a motor vehicle in the Garden State, they also learned that the offenders are aware that doing so is against the law.
"We found that 92 percent are aware that texting while driving is illegal, which is an increase over 87 percent in our survey in 2013," Simon said.
There is some positive news, however.
Simon said one of the highlights of the survey indicated that more people are pulling over to check their phones.
"The percentage of respondents who text while parked in a safe location grew from 28 percent in 2013 to 56 percent in 2015, so more people than ever are pulling over to a safe location to text," Simon said.
She said the results of the survey are a bit confusing, because awareness has grown that texting while driving is not safe, "and yet it's disturbing to see that even though people are realizing it's a problem, they're considering it a top safety concern, but they continue to text while they're driving."
The survey found 82 percent of respondents said that texting was their top safety concern for driving on New Jersey roads, nearly twice as high as concerns about drunk drivers.
"It's time to transform this awareness into a behavioral shift," she said. "What we want to do is encourage parking in a safe location and doing their text there, to encourage that behavior."
To promote safety, Plymouth Rock Assurance has rolled out the Save Your Selfie campaign, where drivers take pictures of themselves pulled over so they can text or use their mobile device. They can win $100 by sharing the picture using #SaveYourSelfie on Twitter or Instagram.