Auto insurance carriers remain wary of drivers who increasingly use their phones while behind the wheel. Millennials are the worst offenders, according to a new global driving study from Liberty Mutual Insurance.

Approximately 86 percent of millennials in the United States said they’ve used a phone previously while driving, even as almost half agree that their phone is a major distraction behind the wheel. About 79 percent of respondents admitted to glancing at an incoming call or text while driving, and 72 percent said they’ve glanced at phone notifications while behind the wheel. Just over half admitted to sending emails or texts while driving.

By contrast, 72 percent of U.S. Gen X respondents said they’ve used their phone when driving, as did just under 50 percent of baby boomers. The numbers were also proportionally smaller for Gen X and baby boomer respondents versus millennials for glancing at calls or texts, looking at notifications, sending emails or texts, and using social media apps.

Millennials were also the worst in terms of using cellphones while driving in Western Europe, with 73 percent of respondents there admitting the practice.

“The influence of the global tech culture is more evident now than ever before as drivers increasingly feel the need to glance, check or interact with their phone while driving,” Mike Sample, a safety expert and technical consultant at Liberty Mutual, said in prepared remarks. “However, using your phone behind the wheel does not get less risky the more you do it. You’re still putting yourself and other drivers on the road at risk of having an accident.”

Other findings from the study:

  • 47 percent of millennials admit to driving aggressively compared to 22 percent of baby boomers.
  • 63 percent of millennials also multitask while driving, with added tasks including eating or applying makeup. That compares with 54 percent of Gen X and 37 percent of baby boomers.

Liberty Mutual’s Safe Driving Study is based on results from a survey conducted in April 2019, involving 3,006 Americans and 5,004 Western Europeans over age 18. This quantitative survey looked at driving attitudes and behaviors in the United States and Western Europe, including Ireland, Spain, Portugal, France and England.

Source: Liberty Mutual

Topics USA