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Nationwide Insurance survey: people feel driving is more dangerous than before pandemic

WSYX – Columbus logo WSYX – Columbus 3/30/2022 WSYX Staff
© Provided by WSYX – Columbus

Drivers feel others on the road are driving more recklessly than before the pandemic, a new survey from Nationwide Mutual Insurance says.

In March, the Columbus-based company commissioned a national online survey of 1,000 car-owning adults through Edelman Data & Intelligence.

The survey said that compared to 2020:

  • 81% think drivers are more aggressive
  • 79% think drivers drive faster
  • 76% think drivers are more reckless

Another 34% said they believe it is safe to hold your phone while driving.

Gen Z and Millenials believed that the most with Gen X trailing close behind.

"Half of the drivers Nationwide surveyed said in the last six months they have held a cell phone to talk, text or use an app while driving," said Beth Riczko, Nationwide's president of P&C personal lines, in a press release. "Far too many drivers are multitasking behind the wheel, putting everyone at risk by creating dangers for themselves, their passengers, pedestrians, and others on the road—I promise you it isn't worth it."

© Provided by WSYX – Columbus

Despite two-thirds of drivers saying that holding a cell phone to talk, text, or use an app while driving is dangerous, half reported doing it in the past six months.

The findings come as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says traffic fatalities have increased.

Despite miles driven declining by 11% due to the pandemic, there was a 6.8% increase in fatalities from motor vehicle crashes in 2020.

Nationwide also says people are not as good at driving as they think they are.

During the past 12 months:

  • 54% of drivers reported driving 10+mph over the speed limit
  • 53% reported eating while behind the wheel
  • 23% said they have audibly yelled at another driver
  • 21% have given an obscene gesture
  • 17% ran a stop sign/light
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