7 in 10 drivers use a mobile device behind the wheel: survey

About 70% of licensed drivers used a mobile device while driving for personal reasons in the past three months, according to newly released survey results, as the U.S. saw more than 3,100 distracted driving-related fatalities in 2020.

Urban and suburban drivers were more likely to have used their mobile phones than drivers from rural areas for all reasons studied.

The survey of nearly 2,000 licensed drivers in the U.S. was conducted by market research and consulting firm The Harris Poll on behalf of Selective Insurance and Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety. Traffic deaths have soared in recent years, with 38,824 fatalities recorded in 2020 alone, the highest total since 2007.

One-fifth of those deaths were among pedestrians, cyclists and other non-vehicle occupants. That share is on the rise; in 2011, that figure was closer to one in six.