Report

Adults and Cell Phone Distractions

  • June 18, 2010
  • By Mary Madden and Lee Rainie

One in four (27%) American adults say they have texted while driving, the same proportion as the number of driving age teens (26%) who say they have texted while driving.

Fully 61% of adults say they have talked on their cell phones while they were behind the wheel. That is considerably greater than the number of 16- and 17-year-olds (43%) who have talked on their cells while driving. In addition, 49% of adults say they have been passengers in a car when the driver was sending or reading text messages on their cell phone. Overall, 44% of adults say they have been passengers of drivers who used the cell phone in a way that put themselves or others in danger.

Beyond driving, one in six (17%) cell-toting adults say they have been so distracted while talking or texting that they have physically bumped into another person or an object. That amounts to 14% of all American adults who have been so engrossed in talking, texting or otherwise using their cell phones that they bumped into something or someone.

Read the full report, Adults and Cell Phone Distractions, on the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project Web site.