Global: How often are people checking their mobile phones while driving?
June 28th, 2023, Janice Fernandes

Global: How often are people checking their mobile phones while driving?

We’ve all heard public safety announcements about the dangers of distracted driving, but does everyone adhere to the rule of not using mobile phones while driving?

Data from YouGov’s latest survey, conducted across 18 international markets, reveals that half of global consumers say they never use their phones when driving (51%) and 18% say not very often. While that might be a relief, there are still a few global consumers who say they very often (4%) and fairly often (7%) check their phones when driving.

In individual markets a vast majority of consumers say they never look at their device while driving, while on average around two in ten say they don’t often do so.

However, the UAE (28%), India (25%) and Australia (18%) have the highest proportion of consumers who say they frequently check their phones when driving. Even the US registers around one in ten consumers who say they often look at their cell phones when driving (10%).

On the other end of the scale, around one in 20 consumers in Great Britain (5%), Spain (5%) and Sweden (7%) say they often use their phones while driving.

Our data reveals that age is a contributing factor when adhering to road safety rules, and globally younger drivers are more likely than older people to often look at their phone when driving – 18-24-year-olds (15%), 25-34 (17%), 35-44 (16%), 45-54 (9%) and 55+ (3%).

Looking at a select few markets reveals a similar habit, however, it’s not always the youngest segment who frequently break the rule of no texting or calling when driving.

In Great Britain, 18-24-year-old consumers are more prone to frequently using their mobile phones when driving (17%), followed by 25-34-year-olds (10%). Similarly in Sweden around 15% of 18-24-year-olds and 25-34-year-olds are most likely to do so.

However, in US it’s the 35-44-year-olds who are most likely to check their phone when driving, registering two in ten consumers (20%), around double the proportion among the general population (10%).

Around a third of UAE residents aged between 18 to 24 years (34%) and 25-34 (32%) say they frequently check their mobile phones when on the road, while 35-44-year-olds are as likely as the overall population to do the same (28% each).

In India it’s the middle group of consumers (35-44 years) who are most likely to say they frequently look at their mobile devices when driving (35%).

Overall, Singapore registers around 7% of people who say they frequently use their phone when driving. The proportion increases slightly with one in nine 35-44-year-old Singaporeans saying the same (11%) and 10% of 18-24-year-olds.

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Methodology: YouGov Surveys: Serviced provide quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. The data is based on surveys of adults aged 18+ years in 18 markets with sample sizes varying between 512 and 2005 for each market. All surveys were conducted online in April 2023. Data from each market uses a nationally representative sample apart from Mexico and India, which use urban representative samples, and Indonesia and Hong Kong, which use online representative samples. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Serviced.

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