Six in 10 study respondents believe autonomous vehicles will eliminate distracted driving

Published: March 30, 2017

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones

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The rise of fully autonomous vehicles will eliminate distracted driving, according to six in 10 drivers in the United States who participated in poll conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of Erie, Penn.-based Erie Insurance.

Released on Monday, the study shows that 59 percent of respondents believe self-driving vehicles will remove the problem of distracted driving. Of that 59 percent, two-thirds (66 percent) were mean and just over half (52 percent) were women.

Harris Poll conducted the study over 2,932 U.S. licensed drivers. There is no estimate of theoretical sampling error because the survey was not based on a probability sample.

Impaired driving could drastically change through autonomous vehicles. 15 percent believe that there will be no need to cite someone under the influence if their car is self-operated. One third (33 percent) say that the ability to drink and return safely home in a vehicle is a big advantage of autonomous vehicle technology.

Five percent believe it will be fine to consume alchohol which actually in the autonomous car, Erie Insurance says in a release.

The biggest advantage of driverless cars amongst respondents was their ability to go travel greater distances without worrying about getting tired (51 percent). 19 percent of the license drivers add they would feel comfortable sleeping while in a self-driving car.

Cody Cook, vice president and product manager of Erie Insurance auto says 2015 statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show human error is a factor in 94 percent of fatal collisions.

“While we believe that fully autonomous vehicles will greatly reduce that number, it’s hard to predict how soon they will be widely available,” Cook said. “Current technology is going a long way to keep us safer on the road, but the last thing we want is for people to become over-confident as this technology continues to evolve. Unfortunately, our survey finds that many people are getting ahead of themselves—making plans for what they’ll do in the car instead of paying attention to the road. We hope people will remember that despite technological advances, it’s still critical—for now, anyway – to keep your eyes on the road, your hands on the wheel, and your mind on what you are doing.”