Phone Distraction & Dangerous Distractions Worst Since Pandemic

Driving analytics company Zendrive  released a new, visual data report that analyzes driving behavior in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Additionally, with a sample dataset of verified collision incidents from 2018 through 2020, the report reveals that distracted driving now contributes to more than 57% of all collisions on the road.

This latest data from Zendrive illustrates that as cars have returned to the road while lockdowns lift, high risk behavior behind the wheel has also increased. Compared to January of this year, phone use frequency is 17% higher in November 2020, while rapid accelerations are up 36%. According to AAA, phone distraction alone can increase the risk of collision by up to 83%. With pedestrian fatalities at their highest levels in decades, these new findings highlight a significant danger to public health.

“Smartphones are one of the primary contributors to distracted driving, and we know that people are more attached to their phones than ever. Distracted driving is a needless crisis, and now as we navigate increased health risks in our day-to-day, we need to prioritize safety on the road,” said Jonathan Matus, Zendrive CEO and co-founder. “We hope that sharing this data demonstrates the urgency here, and sheds light on a key to keeping our communities safer. We urge drivers to put their phones away.”

Dangerous driving behavior has accelerated throughout the pandemic, with real consequences. Comparing January to November 2020, the data reveals:

  • A 17% increase in phone usage by drivers
  • A 63% increase in collisions per million miles
  • Leading the list of U.S. cities with the highest phone usage behind the wheel were Jacksonville, FL, Chicago, IL, and San Antonio, TX

Zendrive analyzed anonymized collision data from 2018-2020 to find:

  • 27% of all collisions involved phone usage within 60 seconds prior to impact

The National Safety Council’s Distracted Driving Awareness Month provided a timely call to assess the recent growth of the large-scale crisis this fall, and rally all drivers and stakeholders – across the automotive, insurance, and tech industries – to prioritize safety measures.

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