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Study: US drivers use a smartphone behind the wheel 90% of the time

Largest distracted driving study shows American drivers use a smartphone nearly every trip

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A new report from ZenDrive found nearly 9 in 10 drivers used their phones while driving. It’s a startling statistic, but not hard to believe.

ZenDrive is a driving data and analytics company that uses smartphone sensors to collect information about driving behavior and safety. Theirs is the largest distracted driving behavior study to date.  They analyzed 3 million drivers over 3 months, for more than 5 billion miles. Instead of relying on self-reporting, ZenDrive tapped into phones’ sensors to determine usage. They found that in 88% of the trips analyzed, the driver used a smartphone. 

The study also ranks U.S. states by their level of distraction, mile for mile. With 1 being the least distracted and 51 being the most, Pennsylvania came in at #33.

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Traffic fatalities are rising at a rate that exceeds the increase in miles driven nationwide, and distraction is large to blame. Most of us agree that using a phone while driving is wrong. We may even get angry to see others doing it. But, apparently, that doesn’t stop us from doing it ourselves. This “do as I say, not as I do” attitude isn’t just nonsensical, it’s also deadly. Even a two-second distraction can increase your risk of a crash 20 times.

The average amount of time spent distracted totaled nearly 3.5 minutes per hour.

 In other words, that’s equivalent to 105 opportunities an hour that you could  nearly kill yourself and/or others.

While the findings of this study are distressing, they also represent the advancements we’ve made in capturing this kind of data. It’s our hope that with this much information at our fingertips, we can work together to begin to control this out-of-control problem.

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