Distracted driving factor in majority of crashes

Greg Nash

Distracted driving was a factor in the majority of car trips that ended in crashes, according to a new study released Monday.

Cambridge Mobile Telematics (CMT), which analyzed hundreds of thousands of drivers’ phones from real-world car crashes, found that distraction occurred in 52 percent of all trips that resulted in an accident.

The average duration of the distraction in those crashes was 135 seconds, and often at speeds over 56 mph. The three most common forms of phone distraction are texting, social media and email.

{mosads}“This data makes it clear that distracted driving is one of the most urgent public safety problems facing our communities today,” said Hari Balakrishnan, chief technology officer of CMT. “With April being Distracted Driving Awareness Month, it’s important to take a critical look at how we can most effectively reduce the danger that drivers face.”

The findings come as both road and pedestrian deaths have continued to climb at historic rates. The uptick in fatalities has been attributed to more miles being driven because of lower fuel prices and an improving economy.

But distracted driving and the increasing use of smartphones are also being pin-pointed as potential factors.

Drivers who use a smartphone while behind the wheel are 3.4 times more likely to be involved in a crash, according to CMT. Meanwhile, drivers who speed are three times more likely and those who hard brake are 1.8 times more likely to crash.

CMT says some cellphone apps can actually be used to track cellphone use behind the wheel and provide feedback to motorists in an effort to improve driving habits.

“Distracted driving due to smartphone use is intuitively blamed for the increase in road crashes and claims,” Balakrishnan said. “What’s less intuitive is that smartphones hold the solution to the problem they created. Drivers now have access to tools that analyze their driving and achieve real behavioral change through immediate and ongoing feedback.”


Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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