North Carolina Voters Indicate Strong Support for Legislation Against Distracted Driving

North Carolinians agree that distracted driving is a serious issue, and voters support legislation to ban drivers’ use of mobile devices, according to the latest Meredith College Poll.

The poll, which was sponsored by the Independent Insurance Agents of North Carolina, found that:

  • Most North Carolinians consider distracted driving to be a very serious issue. More than half surveyed, 50.9%, feel distracted driving is the most serious traffic-related problem. An additional 42.2% agree that distracted driving is a serious safety issue. And 95% believe distracted driving is equally serious or more serious than driving while impaired.
  • Most want new legislation with the preference being for a hands free law, as opposed to a complete prohibition of the use of handheld devices. Support for legislation against distracted driving is widespread. Voter support cuts across political party lines, racial divides, income levels, and education levels. Only about four percent think distracted driving is not an issue that policy makers should address.
  • Most North Carolinians (52.4%) would support a candidate for office who campaigns on the issue of a new hands-free law with a very small number (6.6%) stating that they would not support a candidate who took that position during the campaign.
  • There are some differences among groups of voters who would support candidates advocating for a hands-free law, but it is worth noting that no group would significantly punish a candidate who campaigned on the issue of passing a hands-free law.

“It is clear that most citizens now recognize the serious problems that handheld devices present for safety on North Carolina roads,” said David McLennan, director of The Meredith College Poll. “The support for new legislation to address the problems these devices cause cuts across political, economic, geographical, and educational lines, meaning that people don’t see this as a controversial political issue.”

View the full Meredith College Poll Report

About The Meredith Poll
The Meredith College Poll conducted a mixed mode sample of North Carolinians (200 live caller respondents and 550 email respondents) to registered North Carolina voters from August 25-30, 2018. The survey’s margin of error is +/- 4%.  Meredith College students administer the survey as part of the College’s commitment to civic engagement.

Melyssa Allen

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