CHICAGO, IL — Verizon Wireless, the nation's largest wireless carrier, announced results today, during Wireless Safety Week (May 21-28, 2001), from its online consumer poll on the use of their wireless handsets and distracted driving. More than 2,500 drivers participated in the voluntary survey, which has been conducted on the company's Web site (http://www.VerizonWireless.com) from May 7 - 22, 2001.
So, are wireless phone users really glued to their phones while driving? About 5% of respondents report never using their phones while driving. And of those who do talk and drive, most people indicated they make calls from the car only a few times a week (35%) or a few calls a day (33%). Twelve percent report that they are talking away non-stop.
Verizon Wireless is one of the industry leaders in promoting responsible driving and the use of hands-free devices, and the survey suggests this message is resonating with the general public. In the survey, 31% of drivers say they use hands-free technology to keep both hands on the wheel and almost 18% indicated they are planning to get a hands-free device soon.
So inquiring minds want to know: What are these people talking about? Despite the impression that American wireless phone users are work-obsessed, the survey showed that while they are driving, a plurality, 42%, use their wireless phones primarily to keep in touch with friends and family; 23% said they used their wireless phones mostly for "work, work, work."
Reading maps or other material is seen by nearly half -- 47% -- of respondents as the most distracting behavior while driving. Four other choices -- changing radio stations, eating and drinking, personal grooming and talking on a wireless phone -- each category received 16% or fewer responses.
Nearly half of all survey takers have used their wireless phones to get help during an emergency: 47% have used their phone to dial 911 in an emergency.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless is the largest wireless communications provider in the U.S. with more than 27 million wireless voice and data customers. The coast-to-coast wireless provider was formed by the combination of the U.S. wireless businesses of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD), including Bell Atlantic Mobile, AirTouch Cellular, GTE Wireless and PrimeCo Personal Communications. Verizon Wireless has a footprint covering more than 90 percent of the U.S. population, 49 of the top 50 and 96 of the top 100 U.S. markets. The company, headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, is 40,000 employees strong. Reporters and editors can find more information about the company on the Web at http://www.verizonwireless.com.