Poll: Majority of U.S. adults engage in distracting activities behind the wheel

December 7, 2011

Norwalk, CT – Adult drivers engage in activities such as texting, eating, watching videos and surfing the Internet while driving, according to a new online poll (.pdf file) conducted by market research firm Harris Interactive and HealthDay, a producer of health news.

In the poll, conducted between Nov. 10 and 14, 2,810 adults older than 18 who drive regularly were asked whether they have ever or have often or sometimes engaged in certain distracting activities while driving. Among the poll’s results, drivers reported performing the following behaviors:

  • 86 percent ate or drank, with 57 percent doing it “often/sometimes.”
  • 44 percent drove while feeling drowsy or momentarily fell asleep while driving, with 12 percent doing it “often/sometimes.”
  • One-fourth drove after consuming two or more alcohol-based drinks, with 7 percent doing it “often/sometimes.”
  • 41 percent set or changed their GPS, with 21 percent doing it “often/sometimes.”
  • 37 percent sent or read text messages, with 18 percent doing it “often/sometimes.”