Trends in Cellphone Habits


According to the annual survey conducted by State Farm, drivers continue to be in favor of laws restricting cellphone use while driving, yet they are still using them.

For seven years State Farm has surveyed consumers regarding their attitudes and behaviors when it comes to distracted driving, revealing trends over time.  A number of interesting trends have been revealed:

Talking on a hand-held cellphone while driving has decreased:

  • 2009 – 65 percent
  • 2015 – 51 percent
Texting while driving has stayed nearly the same:
  • 2009 – 31 percent
  • 2015 – 36 percent
Accessing the Internet while driving has more than doubled:
    • 2009 – 13 percent
    • 2015 – 29 percent

Other significant increases include using GPS, reading and responding to email, and reading and updating social media networks.
In consideration of the multitude of distractions the Internet can bring to drivers, the annual survey has also been following trends in smartphone ownership over the past five years, broken into age categories.  In 2015, a large majority, 88 percent, of drivers with cellphones own smartphones, and over five years the most dramatic increase has been among drivers over 40 years of age.

“It’s interesting to observe how the number and types of distractions available on cellphones have grown over the years we have conducted this annual survey,” said Chris Mullen, Director of Technology Research at State Farm.  “We want to remind people that despite these and other demands on your attention when driving, please stay 100% focused on your drive.”

What is most likely to stop drivers from texting while driving?  The survey specifically asked drivers who regularly text while driving to select their top deterrents, and their responses were 1) causing a crash while reading or responding to a text message, 2) financial and/or legal consequences, and 3) getting caught by  police.

“These responses about deterrents highlight the need for a multi-pronged approach to curbing distracted driving,” said Mullen. “Potential solutions lie in a combination of education and awareness, technology, regulation and  enforcement.”

The full report and more information can be found at

About the  Survey:
In August 2009 and 2010, and each year in July from 2011 to 2015, the State Farm Strategic Resources Department used an outside panel vendor to conduct an online survey of U.S. consumers ages 18+. Survey responses were received from approximately 1,000 consumers each year, who identified themselves as having some insurance and financial responsibility for their  household.

About State  Farm®:
The mission of State Farm is to help people manage the risks of everyday life, recover from the unexpected, and realize their dreams. State Farm and its affiliates are the largest providers of auto, home and individual life insurance in the United States. Its 18,000 agents and more than 65,000 employees serve more than 82 million policies and accounts – nearly 80 million auto, home, life, health and commercial policies, and nearly 2 million bank accounts. Commercial auto insurance, along with coverage for renters, business owners, boats and motorcycles, is available. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 41 on the 2015 Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit

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