Survey: SMS While Driving Should Be Outlawed

According to an online survey conducted in late June, by Harris Interactive (2,000 US adults) for Pinger, a large majority of U.S. adults believe that reading or sending email or text messages from behind the wheel is as dangerous as drunk driving and should be outlawed -- yet a majority have done it themselves.

Pinger is a service that voice-enables text messaging. The company is using the survey to promote its service.

Here are some additional top-level findings:

  • 91% of adults thought that drivers distracted by sending text messages or mobile email were as dangerous as drivers who had a couple of drinks
  • 89% believe that sending emails or SMS messages while driving should be outlawed
  • 66% of adults that have used text messaging have read text messages or emails while driving
  • 57% of that population admitted sending SMS messages or emails while driving
  • 64 % of adults who admitted to sending text messages while driving were between the ages of 18 and 34, while only 6% were 55 or older
  • Men and women sent text messages while driving at equal rates

State legislatures are starting to address the issue, with Washintong having passed the first ban on SMS while driving. Numerous other states including CA and NY are considering a similar ban.