This Dangerous Driving Habit Is Way More Common Than You Think

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Sometimes, driving can feel like an automated activity. After years behind the wheel, changing lanes and following traffic laws can feel like second nature, and the less you think about these things, the easier it is to believe you’re a safe driver.
But not paying attention to your driving habits can lead to some pretty serious consequences. And a study by Nationwide shows that distracted driving is happening more often than you think.
Luckily, car insurance companies like Nationwide offer tools to help you kick bad habits and reward your improvements through safe driver discounts.
A distracted driver looks down at his phone in the car
Taking your eyes off the road is never a good idea | Twenty20

Nationwide’s distracted driving study

According to Nationwide, distracted driving has reached alarming numbers in America. The company collected data using telematics, and some of the statistics they shared based on their study are jaw-dropping.
Here are a few of the most shocking discoveries from Nationwide’s study:
  • The average driver looks away from the road for six seconds or more 13 times a day.
  • 45% of all trips involve at least one distraction.
  • The average length of time it takes to tap your phone is six seconds.
  • The average hand-held phone call lasts more than two minutes.
  • The average speed drivers are going when distracted is 45 mph.
The consequences of these habits are staggering. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,142 people died in 2019 as a result of dangerous driving. And although cellphone use while driving is underreported, it’s estimated that distracted driving causes 27% of all car accidents in America.

Safe driving solutions

Thankfully, signs of improvement are on the horizon. State governments across the country are adopting traffic laws to discourage bad driving habits. States that have already put these laws in place have seen a 15% decrease in car accident fatalities.
Insurance companies have also launched programs to encourage safe driving. Nationwide’s SmartRide program provides feedback to drivers about their cell phone use while driving.
Other companies offer usage-based, telematics-powered insurance policies that provide discounts to drivers who display safe driving habits.
**MORE: [The Top 5 Causes of Car Accidents](https://getjerry.com/advice/the-top-5-causes-of-car-accidents-by-amber-dowler)**

Curb your own dangerous driving habits

Here are a few tips on how to keep your eyes on the road:
  • Store or silence your phone.
  • Plan your route before leaving.
  • Plan to check your phone once you’ve reached your destination.
  • Pull over if you need to complete a task like texting.
  • Keep your eyes on the road and your hands free of distractions like food and devices.
  • Choose a usage-based insurance policy that encourages safe driving.

Safe driving equals saved money

**MORE: [Surprising U.S. Driving Laws](https://getjerry.com/advice/the-most-unusual-driving-laws-in-the-us-by-brady-klopfer)**
Nowadays, almost all the main car insurance providers offer usage-based programs. Some of them require you to have tracking devices installed on your car, but for others, all you need to do is download an app.
You can compare all kinds of usage-based car insurance by finding your next policy with Jerry. Jerry searches for coverages, bundles, and discounts from up to 45 different companies to make sure you’re getting the best deal.

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