This week, senior transportation officials, elected officials, safety advocates, law enforcement representatives and academics will meet in Washington, DC at the Distracted Driving Summit to address the dangers of text-messaging and other distractions behind the wheel.

For the past 2 years, Vlingo has conducted a Consumer Mobile Messaging Habits survey. The survey reveals the need and desire for for safer hands-free alternatives. The 2009 report highlights that almost 70% of respondents would use voice recognition technology while driving instead of typing if they could speak text or email messages and have incoming messages read to them. While state and national action is key, we need to recognize that laws are not enough. The end goal is to make the roads safer.

See the full press release below.

Vlingo Highlights New Data From Driving While Texting Study as Regulators Consider Legal Action At Distracted Driving Summit

Data reveals strong consumer desire for safer hands-free alternatives

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (September 29, 2009) – Vlingo Corporation, maker of the world’s most popular mobile voice application, highlighted new data today from its second annual Vlingo Consumer Mobile Messaging Habits Report as regulators prepare for The Distracted Driving Summit (Sept. 30-Oct. 1). The Summit, organized by The U.S. Department of Transportation, will address the dangers of text-messaging and other distractions behind the wheel.

While Driving While Texting (DWT) has become a hot button for state legislatures, recent survey data indicates that there is little-to-no impact of DWT bans on driver behavior. Data from Vlingo’s Consumer Mobile Messaging Habits Report shows that two of the top five worst offending states (TN, NJ, AL, ID, OK) have some form of DWT/mobile phone ban in place or pending (one of which is focused solely on young drivers). Of the five states with the best records (AZ, VT, RI, OH, MI), only Rhode Island has a ban on DWT and it only applies to those under the age of 18. 36% of respondents did not know if they live in a state that currently has a ban on DWT.

“Legislative action is an important step but laws are hard to enforce,” said Dave Grannan, CEO of Vlingo. “As texting usage continues to increase, realistic hands-free solutions are needed to make the roads safer. Survey data shows that texting is gaining on sending/receiving calls as the primary use of mobile phones, with 35% of all respondents using their phones for texting more than for phone calls.”

Vlingo’s Consumer Mobile Messaging Habits Report also reveals a strong consumer desire for safer hands-free alternatives. Almost 70% of respondents would use voice recognition technology while driving instead of typing if they could speak text or email messages and have incoming messages read to them. Of teenage drivers (the more prolific texting group overall), 90% would use voice recognition while driving. “Insurance companies are taking note,” says Grannan. “We’ve been approached about offering safe driver discounts to their customers.”

One in four of all mobile phone users admit to DWT, yet there is general consensus that DWT should be legally banned. Slightly more than 83% of respondents think DWT should be illegal. However, with more safety precautions such as hands-free solutions that enable consumers to text without typing, 40% of respondents favor making DWT legal.

Methodology
The Vlingo Consumer Mobile Messaging Habits Report was fielded by independent panel research firm Toluna and responses were generated from a survey among 4,816 online opinion panel members (age 13 or older) living in the continental United States. The sample was matched to U.S. Census proportions on gender, age and ethnicity and included approximately 100 respondents from each of the 48 contiguous U.S. states. Respondents were also screened for mobile phone ownership and usage. The survey bears a statistical accuracy of +/- 1.41% for the total sample at the 95% confidence level.

The full report can be requested at http://vlingo.com/habits.

Erin Keleher, Senior Marketing Communications Manager, Vlingo

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  • http://underconstruction michael giacomazza

    love your product, yet as an attorney, just a comment that the issue of cell phone use in any form while driving at same is a controversial topic. I worked at at highly specialized law firm, which required extensive travel due to our defense of global manf’s of specialized products, often class actions & MDL, which required 2+ weeks a month, (retn for w/e’s) or if in trial, rare, still it typically last 6-10 weeks. I did well, in law school in Michigan, & due to competitive nature, judicial clerkship are sought as early as possible, or conclusion of 1 st years grades, use to determine rank, where I finished 2nd in my class of over 300. End of 3 semesters, I accepted offer 12/05, with start date of 9/98, contingent on continued level of success, no trouble and invitation to Law Review. and, pass Bar Exam, a 55% pass rate. No surprises. but to be clear I am not soliciting business, only admire your product; as I’m user of speech to text software for desktop first, has dramatic improved. Read another Developer’ built database of voice samples, end result accuracy near perfect? I too share passion for tech, and hope to combine law, and san write & read some code, just as I had to learn others topics, like medical. Read your words. I reccall, day I started officialy as real lawyer, spent all day going over papers, of course,& many clients are global, travel necessary; Professionals are trained to reason differently, use logic, which is not “normal”. But, fist day at work, signed contract, 9/98, because lawyersaid its developing market, practical applications with ootential laibilti. i.e., Lawyer lost in Seattle, looks at GPS, and hot another. use of Cell phones, GPS system were growing fast So law firm asked us sign a contract promise never use cell, nor answer. Also must pull over. Contract about 7 pages, essence was if a breach, all liability would shift to the user, and manufacturer. many court not issue final decision, requires a appellate decision. Possible to go to Supremes on many issues, like impact on interstate commerce, due process. In the end, so much is said and recorded, ever taken out of context. If I was, and I am not, I would have legal advice for you. I am looking to break into the industry, I share your passion for tech, but I love law too. Lots to think about. Still the beginning, Dictated but not read or signed.

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