Distracted driving is one of the most treacherous driving habits. Over 70% of drivers get distracted behind the wheel at least once a day, according to insurance provider
Back in September 2020, Nationwide began studying its policyholders’ driving habits through its phone app SmartRide. SmartRide collected data from drivers who opted in to use the app’s
telematics function, a feature that monitors location, speed, braking, idling, and more.
What SmartRide found about unsafe driving
According to Nationwide’s
study, on average distracted drivers are zipping down a roadway traveling about 45 miles per hour and spend about six seconds tapping away at their phone screens.
Forty-five percent of those sitting in the driver’s seat will get distracted every ride, and drivers get distracted 13 times daily. The average in-car phone call spans longer than two minutes, during which drivers are only partially focused on the road.
Nationwide’s study also found that distracted driving is likely to happen between 10 a.m to 7 p.m., and most distracted driving occurs on Friday evenings between 4 and 7 p.m.
The dangers of distracted driving
We’ve all received a text while driving. The urge to look and—and even respond to—the ringing, buzzing mobile device in the center console is too strong.
studyconducted by Lexus found that it takes 4.6 seconds just to look down at our phones to glimpse an incoming message, not even counting the time we take to engage with the notification.
For 70% of us drivers, distractions surpass our hand-held devices. Common distractions that keep our eyes off the road for precious seconds are talking to passengers, eating and drinking, fiddling with the GPS, or, simply, daydreaming on a regularly traversed route.
Each hazardous activity we engage in pulls our eyes and focus off the road. Distracted driving is a danger to the driver, their passengers, nearby cars, and pedestrians.
Unsafe driving leads to more accidents
Driving virtually blind and unable to react to upcoming obstacles and traffic is less than ideal. Distracted, unsafe driving
leads to more car accidents.
According to Nationwide, those who text and drive are 23 times more likely to get into a car accident. This percentage rises the more a driver multitasks. Even the slightest distraction can lead to an accident.