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Michigan Drivers Admit to Increase in Talking, Texting

Contact: Lynn Sutfin, OHSP, (517) 241-1513
Agency: State Police

Although Michigan law prohibits drivers from reading, manually typing or sending a text message while driving, 16.3 percent of respondents admitted to texting and e-mailing while driving during a statewide phone survey conducted for the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP). This is nearly double the number of people who admitted to sending texts and e-mails in a 2012 survey.

The results are part of a driver attitude and beliefs telephone survey of 600 motorists conducted by Glengariff Group, Inc. and funded by the OHSP with federal traffic safety money. Those surveyed were asked about such things as driving habits, traffic laws, drinking and driving, cell phone use and texting while driving.

“These kinds of surveys give insight on driver’s knowledge of traffic safety laws, illustrate gaps in knowledge and the extent of unsafe driving behavior,” said Michael L. Prince, OHSP director.

In addition, nearly 59 percent of Michigan motorists admit to making and accepting phone calls while driving, an increase from 56 percent of drivers in 2012, and 31 percent of drivers admitted to looking at incoming text messages and e-mails, an increase from 17 percent in 2012.

Other survey findings included:
  • 40.2 percent said they would feel unsafe driving after two drinks in a two-hour time period, while 26.6 percent felt they would be unsafe after one drink
  • 96 percent said they would want to have their seat belt on during a crash
  • 78.7 percent said their driving skills were better than those of the average driver

A copy of the survey results can be viewed at Michigan.gov/ohsp.