Use of Wireless/Cellular Phone While Driving

While six in ten (60%) drivers say they have a wireless/cellular phone, 58% of those with a wireless phone say they rarely or never use it to make outgoing calls while driving and 56% say they rarely or never take incoming calls on their cell phone while driving. This amounts to about one in three of all drivers using a cell phone for outgoing or incoming calls while driving.

Of drivers with a cell phone, about 13% say they use their phone for outgoing or incoming calls on three-quarters or more of their driving. This relates to about 8% of all drivers using a cell phone on the majority of their driving trips. About three in ten drivers with cell phones say they use them on about one-quarter to one-half of their driving trips for outgoing (28%) or incoming (31%) calls. [Figure 4-A]

Male drivers with cell phones are more likely than their female counterparts to both make outgoing (46%) and accept incoming (50%) calls while driving (as compared to 39% of females doing each behavior). [Figure 4-B]

While drivers age 21 or older with cell phones are about equally likely to use their cell phones for outgoing calls as they are to take incoming calls, cell phone-using drivers age 16-20 are more likely to use their cell phones to take incoming calls (63%) than they are to make outgoing calls while driving (40%). Use of a cell phone while driving decreases significantly with age. About six in ten cell phone owners age 21-29 use their phone for inbound or outbound calls while driving, compared to about one-half of those age 30-45, one-third of those age 46-64, and less than 10% of those age 65 or older. [Figure 4-C]
Use of Navigation System or Crash Avoidance System While Driving
Of the 5% of drivers who report having a navigational or crash avoidance system, just 30% (or about 1.5% of all drivers) say they use a navigational system or respond to a crash avoidance system while driving. About 15% of owners say they use them for more than three quarters of their trips, while 15% use them for only about one-quarter to one-half of their driving trips. [Figure 4-A]

Use of Wireless Equipment - PDA or E-mail Access While Driving

Few drivers with wireless equipment such as a PDA or e-mail access actually use this equipment while driving. Of the 15% of drivers who have remote Internet access, just 14% say they use this equipment while driving (or about 2% of all drivers). [Figure 4-A]

There is little difference in use by gender, but reported use of remote wireless access is highest among younger drivers and decreases with age. [Figure 4-C]

Answering or Checking Pages While Driving

About three in ten (29%) drivers with a pager or beeper say they answer or check their beeper/pager while driving, with 8% doing so on three-quarters or more of their trips. This relates to about 3% of all drivers ever accessing a beeper or pager while driving. Males (32%) and those under 30 (40%) are most likely to check or answer the page. [Figure 4-A]

Figure 19 in Appendix B presents a comparison of the proportion of the population who reported a specific frequency of behavior and the corresponding mean number of trips these drivers make undertaking the behavior.