RED BANK, N.J., April 21, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- An annual study released today by Plymouth Rock Assurance in conjunction with Distracted Driving Awareness Month shows the highest percentage of New Jersey drivers surveyed in the poll's three-year history admitting to texting while driving. While a rising percentage of respondents admit to texting while driving, these same drivers cite texting while driving as a top safety concern, ranking nearly twice as high as drunken driving.
"There was a time when drunken driving did not have the stigma that it has today. There was a time when not wearing your seat belt was acceptable," said Gerry Wilson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Plymouth Rock Management Company of New Jersey. "While we are pleased to see that New Jersey drivers are aware of the safety concerns, now it is time to transform awareness into a behavioral shift that will eliminate these actions from our roads."
One promising finding from the study was that the percentage of respondents who texted while parked in a safe location doubled between the inaugural poll in 2013 and today. As part of an initiative to encourage New Jersey drivers to make responsible choices, Plymouth Rock is introducing the #SaveYourSelfie campaign. Every month for the remainder of 2015 the company will give away $100 to one driver who uses the hashtag to demonstrate that they made the decision to park in a safe, designated parking location to text or use a mobile device. Drivers can win by taking a selfie in front of their safely parked car and sharing it using #SaveYourSelfie on Twitter or Instagram.
"Last spring more than 32,000 drivers rallied to pledge their commitment to safe driving and help Plymouth Rock set a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® title for the Most Pledges to a Safety Campaign," Wilson said. "This year, we hope New Jersey drivers will join us to #SaveYourSelfie."
According to findings from the study:
A rising percentage of respondents admit to texting while driving — 33% in 2015 compared with 26% in 2014. Similarly, 28% of respondents cited that as a passenger, they have witnessed the driver of their vehicle texting, compared with 20% in 2014.
82% of respondents say texting while driving is their top safety concern for New Jersey roads, ranking nearly twice as high as drunken driving (42%).
Awareness of the dangers of texting while driving has increased. 92% of 2015 study respondents acknowledged that texting while driving is illegal, compared with 87% in 2013.
The percentage of respondents who text while parked in a safe location was 56% in 2015, compared with 28% in 2013.
Check out Plymouth Rock on Twitter and fight distracted driving with #SaveYourSelfie.
This poll, conducted between March 31 and April 2, was commissioned by Plymouth Rock in partnership with online survey provider Cvent. It consisted of 1,000 consumers with valid New Jersey drivers' licenses who operate a vehicle at least once per week. The poll sample was provided by eRewards, a service of Research Now Group Inc.Cvent and Research Now are independent research consultants and/or survey providers.
About Plymouth Rock
Plymouth Rock Assurance is a marketing name used by a group of separate companies that write and manage property and casualty insurance in multiple states. Insurance in New Jersey is offered by Plymouth Rock Management Company of New Jersey on behalf of Palisades Safety and Insurance Association and its affiliates. Each company is financially responsible for its own insurance products. Actual coverage is subject to the language of the policies as issued by each company. For more information about Plymouth Rock Assurance, visit http://www.plymouthrocknj.com.