How often do Northwest drivers use their phones while driving?

According to the 2016 PEMCO Insurance Northwest Poll, nearly half of Northwest drivers admit they illegally use their phones to call or text while driving – and a majority do it because they don’t think it’s “too dangerous.” What’s more, the worst offenders appear to be parents. How about you? Do you ever use your phone to call or text when behind the wheel?

Thinking about your own talking and texting habits when driving, how regularly do you use your phone when you know it’s illegal to do so?
Total OR
3 2 At least once on every trip
4 4 On most trips
7 6 On some trips
32 32 On only a few trips
53 54 Never
1 0 Don’t know
How often do you talk on a mobile phone without a hands-free device?
Kids/No kids
5%/2 Often
13%/7 Sometimes
30%/18 Rarely
52%/71 Never
How often do you text on a mobile phone?
Kids/No kids
3%/2 Often
13%/6 Sometimes
24%/13 Rarely
67%/78 Never
Which one of these best describes the primary reason you’re willing to use your phone when you know it’s illegal? Is it because …
Total OR
51 50 You don’t think using your phone in that moment is too dangerous
17 15 You don’t think you’ll get caught
5 5 You don’t mind paying the fine if you do get caught
1 1 You don’t think the police can enforce the penalty
16 17 Other
10 12 I don’t know

About the PEMCO Insurance Northwest Poll
PEMCO Insurance commissioned this independent survey, conducted by FBK Research of Seattle, that asked Washington and Oregon residents questions about driving habits and attitudes toward current Northwest issues. The sample size, 600 respondents in Washington and 600 in Oregon, yields an accuracy of +/- 4.1 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. In other words, if this study were conducted 100 times, in 95 instances the data will not vary by more than the associated error range.

About PEMCO Insurance
PEMCO Insurance, established in 1949, is a Seattle-based provider of auto, home, boat, and umbrella insurance to Northwest residents. PEMCO Insurance is sold to consumers by the method they choose – phone, local community agents, or online. For more information, visit

Read more about this topic View more NW polls