December 16, 2000

Almost all Americans (91%) in a recent Insurance Research Council (IRC) survey of U.S. households believe that use of cellular phones while driving distracts drivers and increases the likelihood of accidents. Eighty-nine percent of cellular phone owners agree that using cellular phones while driving distracts drivers and increases the likelihood of accidents. Despite this believe, overall self-reported cell phone use while driving has actually increased in the last three years, largely a result of cellular phone ownership nearly doubling since 1997.

"Even though Americans believe that talking on the phone while driving can be dangerous, it continues to be an irresistible temptation for many drivers," said Elizabeth A. Sprinkel, senior vice president, who heads the IRC.

Most of the public (69%) favors laws to ban cellular phone use while driving, but only a third (35%) think it is likely that people would obey a ban. Less than half of Americans (47%) think that safety campaign are likely to reduce cellular phone use while driving.

The results contained in IRC's recently released report, Public Attitude Monitor 2000, Issue 3, are based on a survey conducted by Roper Starch Worldwide. The survey consisted of telephone interviews with 1,000 men and women 18 years old and older. Survey participants were selected to be representative of the population of the continental U.S. Interviews were conducted September 6 through 14, 2000. The sampling error is plus or minus three percentages points. The survey also addressed attitudes toward large trucks and highway safety.

For more information at http://cpcuiia.org .

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