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Which Cities, States Have the Most Distracted Drivers?

Female Driver Making Phone Call After Traffic Accident With Head In Hands.
By Christopher Coble, Esq. on April 17, 2019

We all know distracted driving is a problem. Many of us are using "do not disturb" functions that can mute alerts when we're on the road. Even if we're not willing to completely give up our smart phones and watches while behind the wheel, we know that hands-free options are better. And states are passing more and more anti-distracted driving laws.

But the message isn't getting through to everyone. And the residents of some states are worse offenders than others when it comes to distracted driving. Zendrive, a mobile driving analytics platform, just released a report analyzing data from 1.8 million drivers and 4.5 billion miles of road. So where were drivers the most distracted?

Eyes on the Road

Zendrive also surveyed 500 people for its annual Distracted Driving Snapshot, and found instances of distracted driving had become far more widespread and common than previously thought. The report indicated that 60 percent of drivers use their phones at least once during the day, and that at any given hour, 40 percent of drivers on the road are using their phones. And the smallest distraction can be catastrophic:

Overall, drivers use their phones for an average of 1-minute, 52-seconds of every hour behind the wheel. At 55 mph, this is like driving 1.2-miles blindfolded, or the length of 21 football fields. However, this stat also takes into account the drivers who don’t use their phones at all. When looking only at drivers who use their phones at least once, this average doubles, shooting up to 3-minutes, 40-seconds of every hour. At 55 mph, this is like 42 football fields blindfolded. Dangerous indeed!

State of Distraction

It turns out that drivers in Seattle, Portland, New York, Pittsburgh, and Chicago were the least distracted. Not surprising, since many of those cities have extensive public transit options. The bottom five cities on the list were Houston, Miami, Detroit, San Jose, and Los Angeles. The most distracted states?

  1. Mississippi
  2. Rhode Island
  3. Louisiana
  4. Oklahoma
  5. Connecticut

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,166 people we killed in distracted driving accidents in 2017 alone. But proving that distracted driving caused a crash can be difficult. If you've been injured in a car accident and think the person responsible was distracted while driving, talk to an experienced motor vehicle accident attorney about your legal options.

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