10/29: Texting While Driving: “Do As I Say, Not As I Do,” Say Younger Americans

There’s good news for public safety officials.  82% of Americans report they never text while driving.  9% say it’s seldom they text while they drive, and 5% admit to doing it sometimes. 4%, though, say they often text while behind the wheel.

texting in car

©istockphoto.com/MSRPhoto

Younger Americans are the culprits when it comes to this touchy practice.  About one in five residents under 30 admit to at least sometimes texting while driving.  Another 18% do so but not very often.  60% say they never text while they drive.  In contrast, less than 4% of Americans between 45 and 59 years old say they text while they drive at least sometimes, and just 2% of those 60 and older admit to doing the same.

There is little difference between the sexes on this question.  10% of men report they text while behind the wheel at least sometimes compared with 8% of women.

Should there be a law banning texting while driving?  90% of Americans say, “Yes.”  Even 88% of younger residents say the practice should be outlawed.  They are in agreement with their elders on this question.  92% of those residents believe texting while driving should be punishable by law.

Table: Texting While Driving
Table: Ban Texting While Driving?

Marist Poll Methodology