An estimated 138 million Americans admit to driving while distracted in the past year.
Next time you’re on the road and see an erratic driver, take a closer look when you pass. According to a new finder report, there’s a good chance that driver’s chatting on the phone, texting friends or even fatigued from a long day (or night).
We surveyed 2,001 American adults about their riskiest habits to learn who our most dangerous drivers are — and what’s causing them to live in harm’s way.
What are the most common risky habits?
Almost half (44.9%) of all drivers admit to chatting on their phones while behind the wheel in the past year. The next most likely dangerous driving habit is speeding (30.1%), representing an estimated 70 million Americans who admit to driving over the speed limit.
Driver fatigue is also a serious concern, with an estimated 42 million drivers (18.1%) feeling sleepy while on our roads. Texting while in the driver’s seat is also a popular habit for 16.3% of Americans. And almost 1 in 10 (7.9%) admit to primping while driving — think plucking eyebrows, speedily shaving or giving teeth a quick clean.
When it comes to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, an estimated 6.9 million Americans (2.9%) admit to taking on this risk.
Let’s break down the data
Women are more likely to concentrate on their driving than men — 42.8% of women compared with 38.4% of men. But they’re also more likely than men (11.0% vs. 4.7%) to be the ones grooming themselves behind the wheel.
However, both genders are nearly equal when it comes to playing with their phones: 45.0% of women and 44.8% of men drivers admit to chatting, while 16.0% of women compared to 16.7% of men admit to texting.
Men are more likely to speed than women (at 31.9% of male drivers, compared with 28.4% of female drivers), drive under the influence (3.5% men vs. 2.5% women) and drive while fatigued (18.9% men vs. 17.2% women).
Unfortunately for millennials, they’re the most likely of all generations to be distracted by an activity while driving. Only 35.4% of millennial drivers say they concentrate while driving, compared with 38.1% of Gen Xers and 46.1% of baby boomers who say the same.
Millennials (6.1%) are nearly six times more likely than baby boomers (1.1%) to drive under the influence. Millennials (28.0%) are also four times more likely than baby boomers (7.3%) to text while on the fly.
Surprisingly, those who are married or in a domestic relationship are most likely to speed (31.8%), followed by singles (29.4%) and divorcees (27.9%). Singles are most likely to fix their appearance while driving (9.6%), followed closely by divorcees (9.0%) and married couples (7.2%).
Can car insurance help?
We’re not surprised to find that US drivers are involved in more than 16 million car accidents every year. While car insurance can’t stop you or other drivers from living dangerously on the road, it can help protect your finances if you find yourself in a fender-bender — or worse.
We don’t often hesitate when it comes to sharing expensive purchases that we’re proud of. But what about those purchases we regret? Get the breakdown between generations and genders on what we regret most financially, from college to gambling. Read more…
How likely would you be to recommend finder to a friend or colleague?
Very UnlikelyExtremely Likely
Thank you for your feedback.
Our goal is to create the best possible product, and your thoughts, ideas and suggestions play a major role in helping us identify opportunities to improve.
finder.com is an independent comparison platform and information service that aims to provide you with the tools you need to make better decisions. While we are independent, we may receive compensation from our partners for placement of their products or services. We may also receive compensation if you click on certain links posted on our site. While compensation arrangements may affect the order, position or placement of product information, it doesn't influence our assessment of those products. Please don't interpret the order in which products appear on our Site as any endorsement or recommendation from us. finder.com compares a wide range of products, providers and services but we don't provide information on all available products, providers or services. Please appreciate that there may be other options available to you than the products, providers or services covered by our service.