Ipsos study claims three in ten Indian drivers are on the phone while driving

MUMBAI: About three in ten (29 per cent) 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 per cent 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 per cent) 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, Ipsos in India head marketing communications Biswarup Banerjee 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.”

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

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 per cent) are most likely to say “yes” they engage in the behavior, compared with those 35-49 years (25 per cent) and those 50-64 years (14 per cent). However, Indian male drivers (31 per cent) 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 per cent) are more likely than those unemployed (17 per cent) to say “yes”. Seniority is even more of an indicator as those who own a business (48 per cent) are among the most likely to say they do it (22 per cent among non-business owners), as are those who say they have a senior decision making role in their place of employment (38 per cent vs. 18 per cent non). Similarly, income (31 per cent high, 30 per cent medium, 25 per cent low) and education (29 per cent high, 26 per cent medium, 48 per cent low) are also indicators of greater likelihood to drive and message.

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