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Technical Report Documentation Page


1. Report No.
DOT HS 809 566


2.Government Accession No.



3.Recipient's Catalog No.



4.Title and Subtitle

Volume I:Findings

National Survey of Distracted and Drowsy Driving

5.Report Date


April, 2003

Attitudes and Behavior:2002

6.Performing Organization Code



Dawn Royal

8.Performing Organization Report No.

9.Performing Organization Name and Address


The Gallup Organization

10. Work Unit No. (TRAIS)

901 F Street, NW Suite 400

Washington DC20004


11.Contract or Grant No.

12.    Sponsoring Agency Name and Address


U.S. Department of Transportation

13. Type of Report and Period Covered


Final Report

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

Office of Research and Traffic Records

Washington, D.C.20590

14.Sponsoring Agency Code



15.Supplementary Notes

Paul J. Tremont, Ph.D. was Contracting Officer's Technical Representative



This report represents the findings on distracted driving (including cell phone use) and drowsy driving. The data come from a pair of studies undertaken by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to better understand drivers' behaviors and attitudes regarding speeding, unsafe driving, distracted and drowsy driving.This report, Volume I:Findings National Survey of Distracted and Drowsy Driving reports respondent's behaviors and attitudes on various topics related to distracted and drowsy driving. Volume II:Findings Speeding and Unsafe Driving presents the data on those topics, while Volume III:Methods Report describes the methods used to conduct the interviews and analyze the data, and also contains the questionnaires. The data will be used to help identify the extent to which potentially distracting behaviors are undertaken by drivers and to understand the characteristics of those engaging in these behaviors so that programs can be developed to reduce these behaviors where they have been shown to be dangerous.The data come from two surveys each conducted among nationally representative samples of drivers during the Spring of 2002. Interviews were conducted with a total of 4,010 drivers in the U.S.

The survey findings show that most drivers at least occasionally engage in behaviors that draw some of their attention away from their driving task. The most common of these behaviors include general activities of talking with other passengers (81%), changing radio stations or CDs (66%), and eating or drinking while driving (49%). While it is estimated that more than a billion driving trips are made weekly by drivers engaging in each of these behaviors, fewer than one in four drivers perceive these particular activities as distracting or as making driving much more dangerous.

About one in four drivers uses a cell phone while driving for either inbound (26%) or outbound calls (25%), while a similar proportion deals with children in a back seat (24%). Close to one-half of drivers perceive these behaviors to make driving much more dangerous, although drivers who use cell phones are only half as less likely as non-users to feel cell phone use is dangerous.

About one quarter (26%) of drivers have been involved in a crash in the past five years. About 3.5% of drivers attribute a crash they've had in the past 5 years to their being distracted (including 0.8% looking for something outside of their vehicle and 0.7% dealing with children), seven-tenths of 1 percent (0.7%) attribute a crash they've had to drowsy driving, while one-tenth of 1 percent (0.1%) of drivers attribute a crash they've had to their cell phone use.

17.Key Words

Driving, Attitudes, Survey, Distracted Driving, Drowsy Driving, Cell Phone Use

18.Distribution Statement

This report and database are available from the National Technical Information Service, Springfield, VA (703) 487-4650, and is free of charge on the NHTSA website at


19.Security Classif.(of this report)



20.Security Classif.(of this page)

21.No. of Pages




Form DOT F 1700.7(8-72) Reproduction of completed page authorized

Index Documentation Page Executive Summary Introduction Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Appendix A: Appendix B: