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Survey shows ‘zombie’ driving habits prevalent

Photo: Root Insurance

New York — Do you zone out behind the wheel? Results of a recent survey show 27% of U.S. drivers admit to doing so, earning them the nickname “zombie drivers.”

Researchers from OnePoll, on behalf of Root Insurance, surveyed 2,000 U.S. adults about their driving habits. Findings show that the leading causes of “zombie driving” were people having a lot on their mind (49%), fatigue (42%) and familiarity with roads (40%).

Other results indicate a disconnect between drivers’ beliefs and practices: 90% of the respondents consider themselves good drivers, yet 67% acknowledge they could be safer and 49% admit to driving while distracted.

The results also reveal a spate of distracted-driving habits:

  • 55% of respondents admit to eating while driving.
  • 51% talk on the phone.
  • 36% check their phone for notifications.
  • 33% change music on their phone.
  • 32% send text messages.

“Driving safety is about more than the driver,” Conor Day, director of product management for Root Insurance, said in a June 25 press release. “It’s about creating a safe environment for passengers, pedestrians and communities, and as these results show, we are all aware of the impact of safe driving, even if we’re not behind the wheel.”

Nearly 20,000 people died in crashes involving a distracted driver between 2012 and 2017, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The National Safety Council offers resources on safe driving.

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