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‘Fake Auto News’ Study: 35 Percent of Americans Falsely Assume Texting and Driving Is Legal in Most States

DriversEd.com has released its latest study, “Fake Auto News 2019: A Look at Common Driving Myths,” which found that 35 percent of Americans falsely believe that texting and driving remains legal in most states.

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DriversEd.com – which recently revealed that a majority of drivers admit to texting while driving – has released its latest study, “Fake Auto News 2019: A Look at Common Driving Myths,” which found that 35 percent of Americans falsely believe that texting and driving remains legal in most states (when, in fact, 47 states ban it for all drivers). In addition, 63 percent are unaware that drunk driving is on the decline.

The report, conducted by DriversEd.com, the leading online driving school in the U.S., unveils data on an array of myths on additional topics including marijuana laws, credit, insurance, car maintenance and Uber driver costs.

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“While both issues are gravely serious – and undeniably deadly – data shows that distracted driving continues to rise as drinking and driving is on the decline,” said Laura Adams, safety and education analyst at DriversEd.com. “For drivers, especially teens, the smartphone is the new open beer bottle. There are many pervasive driving myths and misconceptions out there. As a result, people’s driving records, cars and bank accounts suffer.”

Among the study’s findings:

  • Marijuana laws: 24 percent are unaware that driving while impaired by marijuana is illegal in all 50 states
  • Credit score: 20 percent are unaware that an unpaid ticket can harm a driver’s credit score
  • Life insurance: 18 percent are unaware that that a poor driving record can increase a driver’s life insurance rates
  • Car oil: 69 percent falsely believe that, in general, a car’s oil should be changed every 3,000 miles
  • Engine: 67 percent falsely believe that in cold weather, warming up your car before driving is good for the engine
  • Uber drivers: 7 percent are unaware that Uber drivers have to pay for their own gas, insurance and maintenance
  • Men vs. Women Drivers: 28 percent believe that men are statistically safer drivers than women, when in fact studies have shown otherwise, and it is well-documented that women pay lower auto insurance premiums

“People are unaware of the extent to which their driving record can impact many aspects of their lives – from auto premiums to credit scores to life insurance costs,” said Adams. “If an infraction is serious enough, it can even affect your right to vote, ability to travel, eligibility for federal aid or even ability to adopt a baby.”

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This report is a follow-up to DriversEd.com’s Holiday Drinking and Impaired Driving Report, released in November, and Distracted Driving in America Report, released in October, which found that 18 percent of drivers admit to checking social media while behind the wheel and 8 percent admit to watching YouTube videos.

The full Fake Auto News report – which includes additional data, insights and analysis – is available here.

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