Most Drivers Admit to Multitasking Behind the Wheel

Dec 01, 2009

When it comes to the safety of your drivers, it is important to provide information on the safest driving practices.  While we have all been told of the dangers of distractions from driving, it seems that most drivers do not believe that they are at risk.


According to a new survey by legal information site, 9 out of 10 drivers admitted to engaging in distracting and potentially dangerous activities while driving.


While many states are passing or considering laws to restrict activities such as sending text messages or talking on cell phones while driving, the survey found that 91 percent of drivers admit to trying to multitask while behind the wheel, with potentially dangerous consequences.


The most common activities reported by survey respondents were:



  • Drinking coffee or other beverages- 81 percent
  • Eating- 76 percent
  • Talking on cell phone- 66 percent
  • Sending or receiving text messages- 26 percent
  • Applying makeup- 11 percent (21 percent of women)
  • Sending or receiving email- 8 percent
  • Reading a book or newspaper- 7 percent
  • Browsing the internet- 5 percent


“Multitasking may be great in the office, but is often dangerous and illegal behind the wheel,” said Stephanie Rahlfs, an attorney and editor with “Many states and localities have laws specifically prohibiting activities such as using a cell phone or sending a text message while driving.

 In addition, several states have laws that hold drivers accountable for distractions that could contribute to an accident.” 

Certain distracting activities are particularly prevalent among younger drivers. More than half of drivers between the ages of 18 and 34 say they have sent or received a text message while driving. One out of 10 admits to having sent or received e-mails or surfed the Internet while behind the wheel.


Make sure your fleet’s drivers know that safety begins with them, and to stay focused on the road.


Photo courtesy of junkmonkey under the Creative Commons License.