Survey Finds Most Young Drivers Regularly Text and Use Smartphone Apps While Driving
November 20, 2013 Research

A new survey conducted for young driver insurance firm ingenie found that over half of young people admit to using their phone handset while driving -and most are reading text messages or using apps. The findings come as Road Safety Week begins and the black box insurance brand, which is fast becoming the go-to choice for young drivers, is campaigning to raise awareness about the dangers of being distracted behind the wheel.

OnePoll surveyed 1,000 young drivers on behalf of ingenie. The survey found that, while 89 percent of young people get annoyed when they see someone else using the phone behind the wheel, 50 percent admit to using their own phone to read text messages while driving and 37 percent admitted to sending text messages when behind the wheel.

Meanwhile, nearly 75 percent admitted they often or occasionally use the Maps app on their smartphone to get directions while driving, as a substitute for a sat-nav.

And it’s not just navigation. Significant numbers of young drivers admitted to using mobile apps while on the move, including Facebook, WhatsApp, Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter.

Around 25 percent of those surveyed admitted to using music ID app Shazam to identify songs on the radio. And 17 percent even admitted to occasionally playing Angry Birds while driving (*see full table).

By contrast, far fewer young drivers admit to taking calls without a hands-free system, with only 16 percent of young people saying they often or always make calls in this way.

Aside from smartphones causing distractions while driving, three-quarters of young drivers said they often felt distracted when they had a car full of passengers.

Richard King, founder and CEO of ingenie, has reacted to the findings: “The results of our survey are shocking. The research suggests that, while most young people now accept they shouldn’t take calls while driving, there’s still work to be done to encourage them to think in the same way about texting and apps. There is a need to better inform young drivers about the risks and that’s why today we’re launching our #DontDriveDistracted campaign.  Our message is simple- take away the temptation by keeping your phone on silent and put it away out of sight.”

Quentin Willson, motoring expert says: “These figures serve to underscore the simple fact that more must be done to educate inexperienced young drivers about the dangers of being complacent on the road. Being distracted behind the wheel, even for just a split second by a text message, can have life-changing or even fatal consequences. I for one would like to see the government doing more to teach our children about the dangers of the road in school at a younger age but, in the absence of that, it’s great to see companies like ingenie raising awareness.”

*1. Young people surveyed admit to using the following Apps:

        App        While Driving        While in traffic
     WhatsApp           30%                    41%
     Facebook           28%                    48%
     Snapchat           25%                    36%
      Shazam            25%                    29%
      Twitter           24%                    39%
      Spotify           23%                    27%
     Instagram          22%                    31%
       Vine             20%                    25%
      YouTube           17%                    24%
    Angry Birds         17%                    22%


About ingenie

ingenie is an innovative new way of insuring young drivers. We exclusively insure 17 to 25 year olds who often struggle to find affordable premiums elsewhere. Our policyholders join a community of young drivers who benefit from ingenie black box telematics technology that constantly assesses their driving performance.

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Distraction campaign by ingenie –

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