A new survey from Insurance.com finds 75 percent of drivers view texting while driving to be as dangerous as drunken driving.
The insurance quotes-comparison website asked 1,000 married adult drivers which of four traffic violations most closely approximates the risk from a texting driver:
- DUI: 75 percent
- Running a stop sign: 15 percent
- Speeding: 7 percent
- Parking violation: 3 percent
"Public opinion is far ahead of state law and insurance policies, which treat distracted driving tickets as no more than a minor traffic violation in most states," said Insurance.com Managing Editor
. "Many states don't consider texting a moving violation at all."
Penalties for texting and driving vary immensely depending on where you live. Even in states where a texting ticket reaches a driver's record, it may have little or no effect on the driver's insurance rates.
The average increase in insurance rates from a minor violation, such as a texting ticket or speeding just over the limit, is 14 percent, according to data gathered for Insurance.com by Quadrant Information Services. By contrast, the average increase after a DUI is 76 percent.
The Insurance.com survey also found that:
- Women were more likely to view texting as akin to a DUI than men were, 82 percent to 66 percent.
- Fewer young drivers saw texting as serious, with 69 percent of drivers under 35 saying texting was like a DUI, compared with 84 percent of drivers older than 65.
- 38 percent of the surveyed group admitted texting while driving themselves.
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