Car Industry

Distracted driving up 10% compared to 2018, study says

Yet another study shows drivers can't stop looking at their phones.

Despite knowing the risks, more drivers are using their phones behind the wheel.
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Does it seem like you're seeing increasing numbers of drivers paying more attention to their phones than the road? The data agrees, with a new study released Tuesday by driving behavior analytics company Zendrive reporting that drivers are 10% more distracted now than in 2018 -- in every city, in every state that Zendrive analyzed.

The study is based on anonymized data from 1.8 million drivers covering a combined 4.5 billion miles on the road. The information was collected through Zendrive's phone software, which can monitor driver behavior and warn if a driver is engaging in too many risky activities on their phone. Worse still, the data showed that "phone addicts" -- people Zendrive characterizes as using their phone more than 10% of the time while driving -- "actively ignore the road" for about 28% of the time they're behind the wheel.

Zendrive's data show that the most common phone distractions were talking, texting, using navigation apps or selecting music -- all the things you'd expect might draw a motorists' eyes from freeway to phone.

A study of 500 people found that the risks of distracted driving are not exactly a mystery, with Zendrive reporting 85% of respondents said it is "a problem." Yet 47% of respondents said they used their phones 10% of the time while at the wheel.

Zendrive's study echoes a report released in January by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety study, which found in a 2017 survey that drivers in Northern Virginia were 57% more likely to be using a phone than was found in 2014. The bottom line: more people are using their phones while driving, even despite knowing the risks.