Tag Archives: Safety

Renegade Distracted Drivers

By Dan Ness, Principal Analyst, MetaFacts

Will “the land of the free and the home of the brave” refer to driving? Who are the defiant drivers who insist on their right to drive while texting or sending an email?

Almost any driver in the US has noticed other drivers driving erratically. Many are distracted by one thing or another. Asked whether they feel that they themselves should be able to use tech products while driving, most adults agree they should not. However, some maintain they have that right.

There are 15.3 million Americans, or 9% of online adults, who agree or strongly agree that they “should be allowed to text or email while I am driving a car.” Many U.S. states have enacted laws against this activity, yet this attitude of entitlement persists. One year ago, our survey found the same level of self-justification – 9%. Understanding these defiant communicators can help marketers, tech developers, and other interested parties seeking to help their safety and those driving near them.

A picture of pirate renegades emerges – a segment which may be tough to reach. Lawless defiance is not limited to using phones where they please. These righteous independents intend to abandon their wireless carrier (index 541), are using the Internet less because of advertising (index 451), seek privacy by turning off mobile phone location services and avoiding certain apps (index 262), and find it acceptable to use unlicensed software at home (index 247).

Of dozens of demographics characteristics, one unique aspect: they are four times as likely to be male age 25-34. Demographics alone don’t define this group.

They’re ahead of the pack in using cloud services, indexing 300 or higher in Internet file/folder synchronization, remote PC access, and sharing music playlists. The same goes for sharing their videos online and making international VoIP calls, both with an index of 349.

Texting and emailing are the only things they do with their mobile phones. Those with smartphones are well above average in using them to watch television, make video calls, buy something, make status updates, save voice memos, and redeem coupons.

Although they are ahead of the pack in using their smartphones, they were the last in their class to adopt technology. They are mobile phone laggards and PC laggards, which means they were in the last 16% of their age group to buy their first PC or mobile phone.

Looking ahead

I expect that there will be a lot of resistance from wireless operators, handset makers, app developers, and most of the tech industry. Consumers, too, will resist laws and any challenges to their sense of freedom. Most want to be able to use what tech products they have anywhere and anytime, regardless of the consequences.  Having watched people adopt tech product for over 30 years, I’m optimistic there will be technological solutions. These will be supported by the majority who acknowledge that the specific combination of driving and communicating is over the line.

It took untold years to reach smokers, even after the relationships between smoking and adverse health effects were widely known. Will the fast-moving tech industry set a record in protecting its customers? I hope so, and evidently most of us agree as well.

Source

The information in this TUPdate is drawn from the MetaFacts Technology User Profile research service. Current TUP subscribers may submit an inquiry or use the TUP Interactive Access tool to drill further down into the TUP datasets. Others who are interested may contact MetaFacts.

To see other research coverage of Internet products and activities – from smartphones to feature phones, desktops to notebooks, social networking, demographics, and attitudes – see the many other questions TUP answers on www.technologyuser.com. Tech market research professionals can license direct access to TUP.

Methodological note

There is a well-known factor in survey research called social desirability bias. Respondents are known to answer some types of questions differently depending on the setting and who is asking them. To minimize this affect, we included attitudinal questions in a battery of other unrelated questions. Also, we allowed respondents to complete the survey online and anonymously, since this effect is lessened in self-administered surveys over answering by telephone or face to face with what they may see as authority figures.

About TUPdates

MetaFacts releases ongoing syndicated original research on the market shifts, trends and consumer profiles for Smartphones, Netbooks, Mobile PCs, Workplace PCs, Home PCs, Web Creators, Broadband, and many other technology products and services. These TUPdates are short analytical articles in a series of specific topics utilizing the Technology User Profile Annual Edition study, which reveals the changing patterns of technology adoption around the world. Interested technology professionals can sign up at http://technologyuser.com/contact/ for complimentary TUPdates – periodic snapshots of technology markets.

About MetaFacts

MetaFacts helps technology marketers find and measure their best and future customers. MetaFacts’ Technology User Profile (TUP) survey is the longest-running, large-scale comprehensive study of its kind, conducted continuously since 1983, the year before Apple released the Apple Macintosh. The detailed results are a primary market sizing and segmentation resource for leading companies providing consumer-oriented technology products and services, such as PCs, printers, Smartphones, consumer electronics, mobile computing, and related services and products. TUP analyzes key trends and the data-rich source can be dived into more deeply for custom analysis. For more information about the syndicated research service, analysis tools, publications and datasets, contact MetaFacts at 1-760-635-4300.

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Filed under TUP 2011

Calling the Shots While Driving the Wagon: Renegades say they should be allowed to text or email while driving

Busiest Road Warriors want to Text or Email While Driving – MetaFacts

October 2012 update – TUP 2012 results showing distracted drivers holding steady at nine percent.Calling the Shots While Driving the Wagon: Renegades say they should be allowed to text or email while driving

A MetaFacts TUPDate by Dan Ness, Principal Analyst

When you change lanes on the highway, you hope that the guy next to you isn’t a distracted driver looking at his smartphone instead of at the road. Ninety percent of the time, you’d be fine. On the other hand, a recent MetaFacts Technology User Profile survey showed 9% of online Americans agree or strongly agree with this statement: “I should be allowed to text or email while I am driving a car.” Nine percent isn’t 100%, but considering the concentration of people on the road in any ordinary rush hour, that 9% adds up to a lot of road risk.

Who are these renegades? It seems they have a few commonalities, ranging from age, state, and parental status to privacy attitudes. Eighteen percent of 18 to 24-year olds surveyed felt that they should be allowed to text and email while driving, and the concentration of renegades indeed appears to be in the young-uns: that 18% is double the national average. The 25 to 34-year-old group come in second, with 16% wanting to multitask in their vehicles, followed only slightly more slowly by the 35-44 age bracket with 10%. After that, percentages drop down to 5% and lower in older age groups—it seems that most of these rebels get hit with a dose of safety-juice by the time they hit their mid-forties.

Yet, there is something these folks have in common which points to a concern for safety, even coupled with their desire to type and drive, and that is their tendency toward device-security consciousness. 71% of renegades agree: “For security, I do things such as password-protecting my phone or limiting what is stored on it,” compared to the national average of 30%. Is the line between physical safety and the safety of our information becoming blurred, or is this issue just holding the door for better voice-recognition technology?

Are these renegades simply using mobiles for texting or emailing more than average? MetaFacts survey shows the links between age and texting in general, where 18 to 24-year olds top the charts as well. That age group’s attitude about texting while driving reflects this inclination. Mobile emailers, on the other hand, are led in a close race by the 25 to 34-year-old demographic (42% of 25-34-year-olds use their mobile devices for email vs. 37% of 18-24-year-olds and 32% of 35-44-year-olds).

While age seems one of the main things renegades have in common, gender does not appear to be a significant factor in who texts and drives; only slightly fewer women than men surveyed wanted to use their keypad en route (7% and 11%, respectively). But be they men or women, what might tie these people together is a hunger for better, more streamlined technology.

Judging from the types of phones renegades use, it seems their thirst for new technology may be comparable to their need for untimely texting and emailing. 21% of Android users are renegades, followed close behind by 20% of Apple iPhone users and 16% of Blackberry users. This tech-heavy crowd might just be waiting for the right technology to help them send an email in the car, without having to type it out the old-fashioned way.

Clearly, this scary finding implies a need for a shift in the world of smartphones, and mobile companies should take note. While safety-inducing apps exist to render texting and emailing applications defunct while operating a vehicle, they tend to be geared toward the protective parenting set, which make them seem unlikely that they would appeal to the renegade mindset. In that case, better voice-recognition technology ought to be on the forefront of this issue. Some of this technology is already in place, and the renegade wordsmiths on the roads today seem likely to keep up their bad behavior, favoring accessibility and convenience over safety.

This seems as much an issue for marketing as R&D. The demand for voice-activated texting and email for this niche of rebels, with their busy lifestyles and need for constant quick communication, may lie more in the convenience and speed of the new technology rather than its image as a safety feature.

MetaFacts expects the first early adopters for this technology to include several unique and dissimilar segments: ultra-mobile road warriors, tech-savvy soccer moms, hyperactive smartphone users, Twitter addicts, certain ethnic groups, particularly in states enforcing distracted-driver laws. With that as the case, these texting renegades may be leading voice-activated texting and email out of the periphery so that it can, so to speak, take the wheel.

Source

The results in this TUPdate are drawn from the MetaFacts Technology User Profile Survey. Results specific to this topic can be obtained through a customized report and analysis. Or contact MetaFacts for the MetaFacts Technology User Profile Overview Edition report, which covers the broader range of key trends. View findings in 25 pages of executive summary analysis, 200+ pages of charts and graphs, all supported by 95+ pages of detailed tables. The complete, 300+ page report is delivered to you electronically. This edition is for the U.S. based on the 2010 wave of Technology User Profile gathered among a scrupulously selected set of representative respondents, surveyed both online and offline.

To see other research coverage of Internet products and activities – from smartphones to feature phones, desktops to notebooks, social networking, demographics, and attitudes – see the many other Internet-oriented questions TUP covers on www.technologyuser.com.

About TUPdates

MetaFacts releases ongoing research on the market shifts and profiles for Smartphones, Netbooks, Mobile PCs, Workplace PCs, Home PCs, Moms and Dads, Web Creators, Broadband, and many other technology industry trends and facts. These TUPdates are short analytical articles in a series of specific topics utilizing the Technology User Profile Annual Edition study, which reveals the changing patterns of technology adoption around the world. Interested technology professionals can sign up at http://technologyuser.com/contact/ for complimentary TUPdates – periodic snapshots of technology markets.

About MetaFacts

MetaFacts, Inc. is a market research firm focusing exclusively on the technology industries. MetaFacts’ Technology User Profile (TUP) survey is the longest-running, large-scale comprehensive study of its kind, conducted continuously since 1983, the year before Apple released the Apple Macintosh. The detailed results are a primary market sizing and segmentation resource for leading companies providing consumer-oriented technology products and services, such as PCs, printers, software applications, peripherals, consumer electronics, mobile computing, and related services and products. TUP analyzes key trends and the data-rich source can be dived into more deeply for custom analysis. For more information about the syndicated research service, analysis tools, publications and datasets, contact MetaFacts at 1-760-635-4300.

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Filed under Technology User Overview Report, TUP 2010, TUP 2012, TUPdate

When will most Californians comply with the new cellphone driving law? (poll)

California passed a law limiting the use of handheld cellphones that starts July 1st, 2008. Even though there has been a lot of publicity surrounding this law, and even a delay in the start date, some Californians may not be fully aware of the law.

Other Californians may just choose not to comply.

What do you think?

Note: This is not a scientific nor representative poll, but is only among visitors to this site. Stay tuned for our official results.

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Filed under Consumer research, Market Research, Poll, Statistics, Tech Market, Technology