iPhone Users and Young Women Likelier to Use Their Phones While Driving

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Distracted driving is a major cause of most car accidents, and distractions caused by cell phone usage is a growing concern as mobile devices become more important in our lives. The team of analysts at ValuePenguin recently conducted a survey to learn more about cell phone usage behind the wheel. Cell phone usage refers to using apps, emails, texting, or gaming while driving, but not taking calls on the phone. 23% of the drivers we surveyed admitted to using a phone while driving - nearly 1 in every 4 drivers.

Key Highlights:

  • iPhone users are 30% more likely to use their cell phones while driving than Android users
  • Almost half of drivers aged 18 - 29 are checking their phones while behind the wheel: 43% of young drivers reported using a phone while driving
  • The types of apps on drivers phones may correlate with cell phone usage behind the wheel
  • 30+ year olds aren't that much more responsible with the phone usage on the road: 32% of drivers aged 30 - 44, and 21% of drivers aged 45 - 59 still use their phones while driving
  • Young women are actually riskier than young men when it comes to checking their phones while driving: Women between the ages of 18 - 29 are 22% more likely to check their phones on the road (46% of women vs 38% of men of the same age)
  • For motorists 30 and up, however, this balances out; men tend to be using their phones slightly more while operating a car (18% of men vs 15% of women)

iPhone vs. Android: Are iPhone users riskier drivers?

We found that among all smartphone drivers, 31% of iPhone users reported using their phones during their driving trips. Compare that with the rate of drivers using Android, which is 24%, or the 16% of other types of smartphones users. Compared to Android users, iPhone users are 30% more likely to use their phones while driving. The graph belows divides email, texting, and app usage while driving by different age groups.

This graph shows how cell phone usage while driving differs by iOS and Android users by age

Smartphone users 4x as likely to be distracted by their devices while operating a vehicle.In total, 80% of our survey respondents used a smartphone, such as Android, iPhone, Blackberry and such, compared to 20% who used a non-smartphone. Non-smartphone users were considerably less distracted by their phones while they drove: 6% vs. the 27% of smartphone users admitted to checking out their phones when they drive.

This graph breaks down our sample pool of drivers by cell phone type, and compares the percentages of them who use their phones while driving

43% of young drivers irresponsible regarding cell phone usage, but older drivers are not far behind. Most of the attention is on young drivers’ tendency to use their phones while driving, but our data indicated that this is also a concern for older drivers, too. A full 43% of 18 – 29 year olds reported using a phone while driving, but so do nearly a third of drivers aged 30 – 44 or a fifth of drivers aged 45 – 59.

Men and women are equally likely to use their phones behind the wheel, but women aged 18 - 29 are significantly more apt to do so. Generally speaking, female and male drivers are equally as likely to be using their phones when they’re driving on the road (23% vs. 22%). There are some noteworthy differences when we look at male and female drivers within the 18 – 29 year old age group. Based on our study, there was a higher percentage of female drivers between the ages of 18 and 29 who report using their phones while driving than male drivers of the same age: 46% vs. 38%. This runs counter to the common generalization that younger males are more dangerous drivers. Beyond the 18 - 29 age group, however, the difference flips; 18% of males 30 years and older admitted to using their phones on the road compared to 15% for their female counterparts.

This graph illustrates the differences in our male and female respondents by age in terms of checking their phone while driving

Survey Methodology

ValuePenguin commissioned an online survey related to cell phone usage while driving from SurveyMonkey. Of the 1,240 responses received, survey results were narrowed down to 1,116 respondents, who were both licensed to drive and owned a cell phone, in order to evaluate relevant behavior. Participants were 18 years or older, and distributed across the U.S. There were 12 questions that surveyed cell phone usage consisting of: looking at apps, emails, texting, or gaming on cell phones, and not talking on the phone or taking calls.

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