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Survey Finds 35% of Smartphone Owners Use Them While Driving

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Public Service Announcement Poster: Please don't text and driveA McKinsey study released this week finds that 35% of smartphone owners use their phones while driving, as Liz Gannes reports for All Things D. According to the study, called “Mobility of the Future,” among those who said they use their smartphones while driving, 89% said it was for voice calls, 68% for navigation, 39% for SMS-based text messaging, and 31% to check the Internet or use social networks, writes Lisa Eadicicco for Digital Trends in the article “Watch out! New study shows 1 in 3 smartphone owners use devices while driving.”

Lance Whitney for CNET News writes that McKinsey & Company surveyed 2,000 drivers in June 2012 for the study. He notes that the report also found that younger people feel a greater need to stay connected while in cars, with 55% of 18-to-39-year-olds seeing in-car access to data as important, as compared with only 27% of people in the 40-to-69 year-old group.

Whitney cautions:

We all know the dangers of using a phone behind the wheel. Even a quick glance at an incoming call or new e-mail can be enough to take our eyes off the road at the wrong time.

And as cars get outfitted with ever more complicated on-board navigation systems, the risk becomes that much greater.

Those drivers in the younger group said they expect travel time to increase significantly in the next 10 years, when it will take more time for them to commute to work and school and to meet with friends, Whitney writes. Gannes notes that the report, which was released at the Detroit Auto Show, found that 45% of people in the 18-to-39 age group said they expect to use car sharing more in the next decade.

The report was written by Andreas Cornet, Detlev Mohr, Benno Zerlin, and Florian Weig, according to McKinsey & Company’s Automotive & Assembly Extranet. McKinsey & Company is a global management consulting firm, advising businesses, governments, and institutions.

Digital Trends writes:

The full report was conducted in June 2012 and reached a total of 4,000 people. Answers from 3,673 were used in the survey, but only 1,949 of these people answered questions about using smartphones while driving.

McKinsey’s findings were revealed at the Detroit Auto Show, but did not provide much detail as to the types of phones used while driving. It’s worth noting that any type of distraction while operating a motor vehicle can be dangerous.

This blog recently wrote that the Colorado-based company Cartasite — which makes a tiny black box (a Real-Time Operational Vehicle Reporting system, or ROVR™) that can indicate aggressive or distracted driving patterns — is giving a $25,000 scholarship to the young person who wins a year-long safe driving competition, and $15,000 scholarships for each of the second, third, and fourth place winners.

Cartasite’s CEO David Armitage said:

Teenage vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for 16-19 year olds. We want to help lower this tragic statistic by monitoring negative driver behavior and creating an environment where kids are competing with one another to beat out their peers by changing their driving habits.

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