Study Reveals the Majority of U.S. Drivers are Distracted by Cellphones

driver distracted by phoneA new study has found the vast majority of Americans are distracted by their cellphones or electronic devices while driving.   The study, conducted by an app called Zendrive, found that U.S. drivers were distracted by their phones or other electronic devices in 88 out of 100 trips.

Distracted driving is a danger to all those sharing the roadway and can lead to severe car accidents caused by driver negligence.

Largest Distracted Driving Study

Zendrive’s study used data collected from more than three million anonymous drivers over a three-month period between December 2016 and February 2017. Researchers reviewed participating drivers’ behavior during 570 million trips that covered 5.6 million miles, making it the largest study on distracted driving ever conducted.

The study focused on a drivers’ likelihood to handle a phone while driving and how susceptible they may be to texting, calling, checking social media and using a phone to navigate.

Cellphone Distraction is a Larger Problem than Previously Realized

Zendrive found that drivers were focused on their cellphone for an average of 3.5 minutes per hour of driving.

When a driver looks away from the road for more than two seconds, he or she is 20 times more likely to cause a collision. If a driver traveling at 55 mph looked at his or her phone for two seconds, his or her vehicle would have traveled the length of two basketball courts.

Zendrive found that the realistic number of U.S. drivers distracted by cellphones while operating a vehicle is equivalent to the study’s sample pool of 5.6 million vehicle miles traveled.

Cellphone Distraction by State

The study was able to determine which states had the most drivers distracted by cellphone use. It found that, overall, states with laws that ban drivers from using hand-held devices ranked significantly lower than states without cellphone bans.

However, Vermont, which has a hand-held cellphone ban, ranked as the state with the most drivers distracted by cellphones. Oregon, which also has a law banning hand-held devices while driving, had the lowest number of drivers distracted by cellphone use.

California outperformed most states, coming in seventh among the states with the least distracted drivers in the U.S. It is illegal for drivers in California to hold a cellphone in their hand.

Preventing Distracted Driving

Accidents caused by distracted driving are often tragic because of the severe consequences that are caused by a completely avoidable action. Traffic safety experts largely attribute behaviors like distracted driving to the more than 40,000 traffic fatalities reported in the U.S. during 2016.

Although Zendrive’s study focused on cellphone use, there are many other forms of distraction that drivers should refrain from engaging in while operating a vehicle. These include:

  • Eating
  • Adjusting your vehicle’s features
  • Self-grooming while driving
  • Talking to other passengers
  • Searching and reaching for loose objects in a vehicle
  • Using a navigation system or GPS

April is nationally recognized as Distracted Driving Awareness Month, which traffic safety advocates and law enforcement agencies use to engage with the public about the dangers of distracted driving.

It is also left up to drivers to choose not to engage in any form of distraction while driving and to stay off their cellphones while they are in control of a vehicle.

Legal Help after Car Accidents Caused by Distracted Driving

If you have been injured or lost someone you love in a car accident caused by a negligent driver you may be able to file a claim to recover compensation for the losses you suffered. Contact our personal injury lawyers to discuss whether the conditions of your car accident claim allow you to pursue legal action against the at-fault party.

Your initial consultation is free and we work on a contingency fee basis. This means we never charge clients upfront for our service, and you only pay us if we obtain a favorable outcome for your claim.

Call (916) 777-7777 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form.