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New Study Sheds Light on Distracted Driving Epidemic

The National Safety Council estimates there where 40,100 motor vehicle deaths and about 4.57 million people with motor vehicle related injuries seeking medical attention in 2017. This marks a 10% increase in the 5 years between 2012 and 2017. Experts think that mobile phones are playing a major role in the crashes and casualties but more data is needed to understand driving behaviors and analyze how they change over time. 

Hoping to improve road safety with data and analytics gathered from smart phone technology, the Zendrive 2018 Distracted Driving Snapshot study looked at the driving behaviors of more than 13 million users across the country. Zendrive found that on an average day , over 60 percent of people use their phones at least once while driving. This means around 69 million people across the country are using their phones behind the wheel each day.

Overall, Zendrive found that distracted driving increased in every state except Vermont. Zendrive found that 70% of driver phone use occurred between 10am and 5pm. With a majority of driver phone usage happening in the first 5% of a trip. Showing that regardless the length of the trip, the driver is more likely to use their phone while setting out rather than throughout the drive.

The study also showed that while some drivers didn’t use their phones at all, habitual users used their phones about 3 minutes, 40 seconds per hour. The average trip in the study took 20 minutes and was approximately 13.5 miles long.

Details like these may assist researchers and safety officials in developing new methodologies to lessen the effects of distracted driving incidents but with the ever-presence of mobile phones in our lives only time will tell if we can reduce unsafe driving behavior.  


2017 Estimates Show Vehicle Fatalities Topped 40,000 for Second Straight Year. (2017).
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2018 Distracted Driving Snapshot. (2018, April).
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