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29% Indians admit to Texting, Emailing while driving: Ipsos Study

About three in ten (29%) Indians who drive indicate they text, email, or use social media while they are driving (even when they’re at a stop sign or a red light) compared to 22 percent globally according a new poll conducted by Ipsos OTX – the global innovation center for Ipsos, the world’s third largest market and opinion research firm.

However, a majority of Indian driving respondents (71%) say they do not do this. The findings reflect a new poll of 14,160 drivers conducted by Ipsos globally, the number of respondents from India was 851 drivers.

Commenting on the findings, Biswarup Banerjee, Head Marketing Communications, Ipsos in India said, “Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of accidental death in India, and using a phone while driving significantly increases the risk of accidents. Trying to do two visual tasks at once hurt performance in both tasks significantly, sadly many people have this overconfidence in how well they can multitask which may prove fatal.”

The countries with the highest proportions of drivers indicating they have texted, emailed or used social media while driving are from: Saudi Arabia (43%), South Africa (41%), South Korea (33%), India (29%), China (27%), United States (27%), Brazil (25%) and Russia (25%). This group of distracted drivers is followed by Indonesia (24%), Sweden (24%), Mexico (23%), Argentina (21%), Australia (20%), Germany (20%), Canada (19%) and Italy (19%), rounding out the middle of the pack. The lower group includes: Japan (18%), France (17%), Poland (17%), Turkey (17%), Belgium (15%), Spain (14%), Hungary (9%) and Great Britain (8%).

As for demographics of Indians, age is among the most important variable in determining a driver’s likelihood to message behind the wheel in India as those under the age of 35 years (34%) are most likely to say “yes” they engage in the behavior, compared with those 35-49 years (25%) and those 50-64 years (14%). However, Indian male drivers (31%) are more likely to use their smart phone while driving compared to 26 percent female.

Communicating digitally while in the car appears to be highly related to a person’s work life as those who are employed (32%) are more likely than those unemployed (17%) to say “yes”. Seniority is even more of an indicator as those who own a business (48%) are among the most likely to say they do it (22% among non-business owners), as are those who say they have a senior decision making role in their place of employment (38% vs. 18% non). Similarly, income (31% high, 30% medium, 25% low) and education (29% high, 26% medium, 48% low) are also indicators of greater likelihood to drive and message.

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