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Report Claims Distracted Driving Rates Fell In 2023

Distracted driving is one of our biggest pet peeves on the road. Not only is it annoying dealing with drivers who can’t stay in their lane, don’t signal, and are just unaware of their surroundings, it’s also dangerous and sometimes deadly. But a new report from Cambridge Mobile Telematics claims the rate of distracted driving in 2023 actually went down.

Everyone should watch this old driving instruction video.

As contained in the telematics service provider’s report titled The State of US Road Risk in 2024, distracted driving rates fell a little bit, 4.5% to be exact, last year. That’s the first decrease CMT has measured since 2020.

We’d love to see a much bigger drop in distracted driving rates, but a slight decrease is better than a continual march towards oblivion on public roads.

CMT says it estimates the 4.5% drop in distracted driving last year helped prevent more than 55,000 car crashes, 31,000 injuries, 250 deaths, and almost $2.2 billion in economic tolls (insurance costs, lost work productivity, etc.). That gives you an idea of the total social cost of people not paying attention while they’re driving.

According to CMT’s report, there are some factors which have been helping to reduce distracted driving rates. One is the usage-based insurance (UBI) programs consumers consent to, which have been growing in popularity. CMT claims drivers who participate in such programs are 65% safer. Although it’s not clear if that’s a casual or correlative relationship.

Another driving force in reducing distracted driving rates have been hands-free laws passed in different states. CMT concluded that where such laws are in place, distracted driving has been cut on average 7.1%. Although, we know living in states where these laws are on the books, there are still plenty of scofflaws who hold their phone while driving.

Finally, CMT cited media coverage of distracted driving and its horrendous consequences for helping to reduce its frequency. The company measured an increase in media coverage about smartphone distraction for drivers in 2023, heightening awareness of the dangers for members of the public.

Also interesting, the report lists out the most distracted holidays for drivers. Christmas comes out on top, followed by Thanksgiving, New Year’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and the Super Bowl. Halloween comes in dead last. Do with that information what you will.

Source: Cambridge Mobile Telematics

Image via Gustavo Fring/Pexels

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