Scientists tell us that our smartphones can be addictive. The websites and other features available on your phone are designed to get you to return to them and spend as much time on them as possible. Smartphone addiction can be dangerous if people give in to the urge to use their phones while driving.

In our transportation study, we asked people if they have the urge to check their smartphone every few minutes while driving. Overall, 20% of respondents said that they did.


The percentage varied by age. Twenty-eight percent of those in the age groups 25-34 and 35-44, 23% in the group for 18-24 year olds, and 22% of those aged 45-54 agreed somewhat or strongly that they did have such an urge to check their phone that often while driving. This compares with 15% of those aged 55 to 64 and just 4% of those aged 65 and above.


Males and females are fairly equally likely to have the urge (21% versus 19% who say they somewhat or strongly agree that they have the urge to check every few minutes while driving).

Parents vs. non-parents

But surprisingly, parents are more likely to check than are those without children. Twenty-six percent of fathers somewhat or strongly agreed with the statement, versus 18% of males who do not have children.

For mothers, the discrepancy is even more extreme. Eleven percent of females without children agree somewhat or strongly that they have the urge to check their smart phones every few minutes while driving, but 29% of mothers do.


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June 11, 2018