Texting while driving: South Africans love it

A survey conducted in September among 24 countries finds that South African’s are almost twice as likely to text, email, or use social media while they are driving.

The findings reflect a new poll of 14,160 drivers conducted by Ipsos OTX – the global innovation center for Ipsos, the market and opinion research firm.

Two in ten (22%) of those in 24 countries 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.

Four in 10 (41%) South African admitted to breaking the law by using their mobile whilst behind the wheel, ranking second, behind only Saudi Arabia (43%).

South Korea (33%), India (29%), China (27%), United States (27%), Brazil (25%) and Russia (25%), all followed for committing the offence.

The countries where people were least likely to use their phones included Japan (18%), France (17%), Poland (17%), Turkey (17%), Belgium (15%), Spain (14%), Hungary (9%), and Great Britain (8%).

Other countries who took part in the survey included: Indonesia (24%), Sweden (24%), Mexico (23%), Argentina (21%), Australia (20%), Germany (20%), Canada (19%) and Italy (19%).

Texting while driving

# Country Texting while driving
1 Saudi Arabia 43%
2 South Africa 41%
3 South Korea 33%
4 India 29%
5 China 27%
6 USA 27%
7 Brazil 25%
8 Russia 25%
9 Indonesia 24%
10 Sweden 24%
11 Mexico 23%
12 Argentina 21%
13 Australia 20%
14 German 20%
15 Canada 19%
16 Italy 19%
17 Japan 18%
18 France 17%
19 Poland 17%
20 Turkey 17%
21 Belgium 15%
22 Spain 14%
23 Hungary 9%
24 Great Britain 8%

Global averages indicate that age is among the most important variable in determining a driver’s likelihood to message behind the wheel. Those under the age of 35 (31%) are most likely to say “yes” they engage in the behavior, compared with those 35-49 (21%) and those 50-64 (10%).

The poll found no gender difference (23% male, 22% female) on the global aggregate level.

And, according to the survey, communicating digitally while in the car appears to be highly related to a person’s work life as those who are employed (25%) are more likely than those unemployed (15%) to say “yes”.

Business owners, at 33%, are also more likely to use their mobile while driving to communicate, compared with 20% among non business owners.

Similarly, income (28% high, 21% medium, 19% low) and education (25% high, 22% medium, 19% low) are also indicators of greater likelihood to drive and message, Ipsos found.

More on texting while driving

Voice-to-text while driving is not safe: study

SA among worst for texting whilst driving

SA’s mobile obsession while driving

The impossible texting and driving test

Road Traffic calls for compulsory hands-free kits

Cape Town may seize driver cellphones

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Texting while driving: South Africans love it