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Phone addicts are the most dangerous threat on the road

Phone Addicts are glued to their phones, so they’re more distracted, more dangerous, and more likely to cause a crash than even drunk drivers. They pick up their phones four times more than the average driver, use their phone six times longer than the general population, and are on the road longer than any other category of drivers.

These are the findings of Zendrive’s 2019 distracted driving study. Zendrive is a mission-driven company, working to improve road safety with data and analytics. Their smartphone-based system measures and analyzes driver behavior, focusing on the behaviors most likely to contribute to collisions: speeding, driver phone use, aggressive acceleration and hard braking.

Phone Addicts are growing at a rapid pace. In just one year, the number of hardcore Phone Addicts doubled. Today, one in every twelve drivers on the road is a Phone Addict, according to Zendrive. What’s even worse is that most people don’t realize they’re Phone Addicts, or that their behavior is harmful. So any one of us could be a danger on the roads and not even know it.

When asked about their opinion on distracted driving, 85% of respondents identified the issue as a very important problem. When asked to rate their overall driving safety, 90 percent claimed to be safe drivers, but 47% admitted to using their device so often they fall in the Phone Addict category. What do we do when almost half of all drivers on the road classify themselves “safe drivers” despite spending 10 percent of their time distracted behind the wheel?

In 2016, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported 10,497 deaths as a result of drunk driving and 3,450 for distracted driving. Although the statistics show that drunk drivers cause more deaths, what most people fail to take into account is that driver phone use fatalities are much more difficult to track. Drivers often fail to admit they were distracted prior to a crash plus inconsistencies in police reports make it difficult to arrive at an accurate number.

Zendrive’s study found that distracted driving went up in every state year over year. They also found that the general population averaged 1 minute, 48 seconds of phone use per hour of driving. When you just look at Phone Addicts, Zendrive found that they use their phones for 6 minutes or more for every hour behind the wheel. This is almost double last year’s amount of distraction, when they found habitual phone users spending an average of 3 minutes, 30 seconds on their phones each hour.

Could there be a positive correlation between larger screen sizes and driver phone use? Zendrive data shows that the larger the screen, the more distracted the driver. As phone screens have gotten larger, drivers can’t help but look at their screen while behind the wheel.

Can we do anything about this problem? Well, since we don’t even realize how often we’re distracted, Zendrive encourages everyone to pledge to turn on their driving autoresponder. With this technology, when you’re driving and get a text, your phone will automatically text back that you’re driving and will text back later, keeping you safe and distraction-free while your friend doesn’t feel ignored. Can we all pledge to just do it?

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