When you turn on Do Not Disturb While Driving on the iPhone, text messages and other notifications are silenced or limited. Credit: Apple
With Memorial Day weekend behind us, the summer travel season is upon us and that means road trips for many people and their families. A new study, commissioned by Erie Insurance, provides new insights about what drivers can expect to see on the road.
It asks about everything from concerns about other drivers' behaviors and their own habits when it comes to speeding, along with the use of social media while driving. The survey also found that while drivers may be road ready, their cars may not be, as some put off vehicle maintenance during the pandemic.
"We know a lot of drivers are anxious to travel again as pandemic restrictions begin to lift, so we commissioned this survey to get a glimpse into drivers' mindsets as they venture back out," said Jon Bloom, vice president of personal auto, Erie Insurance. "Our survey uncovered some concerning behaviors and showed that we need to remain vigilant and keep reminding people that driving is something that requires their full attention. We want everyone to enjoy their road trips and make it home safely."
When asked about their own driving behaviors:
- 72% admitted they sometimes or often speed
- 62% said they sometimes or often drive while tired
- 7% said they sometimes or often fall asleep at the wheel
Researchers say drivers aged 25-44 seem the most tired, with 13% of them saying they sometimes or often fall asleep while driving.
When asked what most worries them about other drivers, the top 5 concerns were:
- Texting and talking while driving: 50%
- Road Rage: 18%
- Speeding: 14%
- Tailgating: 12%
- Failing to yield: 3%
Social Media and Cell Phone Use While Driving
Significant percentages of drivers admit they use their cell phones while driving, including:
- to access GPS (36%)
- to take or make calls (36% and 28%, respectively)
- To check or reply to texts (26% and 17%, respectively)
Researchers say a much smaller percentage (5%) admit to accessing social media while driving. Of those, their top 5 social media activities are:
- Scrolling through pictures, posts, or other content: 89%
- Taking pictures: 37%
- Posting photos or videos: 26%
- Watching or shooting videos: 22%
- Commenting on others pictures/videos: 19%
Racking Up the Miles
So how many of us are planning road trips this year? Half of survey respondents (51%) said they plan to take at least one road trip vacation this year. Of those, 14% plan to drive 1,000 miles or more on their trip. Westerners are most likely to drive this far (25%), while few drivers from the Northeast (5%) and Midwest (7%) plan to venture this far from home.
Most drivers kept up with their vehicle's maintenance during the pandemic, but in the study, one in five said they put off some of these tasks. The top 5 common vehicle services they postponed are below:
- Oil & filter changes: 65%
- Cleaning interior & exterior: 45%
- Tire rotation: 38%
- Checking tire inflation & tread ware: 28%
- Engine & cabin air filter changes: 24%