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Distracted Driving in US at Highest Point During Pandemic

| April 11, 2022

Cambridge Mobile Telematics Reports 2022 US Distracted Driving Report reveals distracted driving to be 30% higher than pre-pandemic level

Cambridge Mobile Telematics announced the availability of its 2022 US Distracted Driving Report. The report explores driving behaviors like driving time, speeding, and phone distraction from 2019 through 2022 in the United States. The new report is available for free on the CMT website.

The report finds that distracted driving levels — when drivers actively use their phone while driving — are at their highest point since the pandemic began. In April 2020, distracted driving skyrocketed across the nation, increasing by over 18% from the start of the pandemic, averaging one minute and 34 seconds per driving hour. In February 2022, distracted driving intensified, reaching one minute and 38 seconds per driving hour. Distraction in February 2022 was 30% higher than February 2020, the last month before the pandemic.

The pandemic has also disrupted typical distracted driving patterns over the past two years. Historically, distracted driving has been seasonal, rising in the summer and falling in the winter. In 2019, distracted driving rose by 9% in the summer months. In 2020, this figure was over 11%. In 2021, distraction was high throughout the year.

Distraction patterns have also shifted throughout the day. However, the pandemic has impacted nighttime distraction the most. Distraction increased 40% from February 2020 to April 2020 for trips from 11:00 PM to 6:00 AM, reaching 1 minute and 20 seconds per hour of driving. In February 2022, nighttime distraction increased to 1 minute and 29 seconds per hour.

“Over the past two years, distracted driving has been like a pandemic within a pandemic, increasing at alarming rates and changing drivers’ behaviors as the pandemic wears on. As more drivers hit the nation’s roads, this intensified distraction will put even more people at risk,” said Ryan McMahon, VP of Strategy for CMT. “As we start Distracted Driving Awareness Month this April, we hope this report reminds everyone that distraction hasn’t gone away with the pandemic — it’s actually worse than ever. The bright spot is that we know that technology and regulations can significantly reduce distraction. The key is that the market needs to bring these solutions to scale and lawmakers need to pass stronger, enforceable hands-free legislation.”

Distracted driving killed over 3,100 people in 2020, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). NHTSA also reports that over 38,000 people were killed in road crashes that same year, the highest in over a decade. Experts suggest the number of deaths caused by distracted driving is likely much higher due to the difficulty of tracking distraction before a crash.

Download the new report by visiting www.cmtelematics.com/the-2022-us-distracted-driving-report.

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