If it seems to you that virtually every driver on the road today is driving while distracted, you are not far from wrong. A new report from Cambridge Mobile Telematics, the world’s largest telematics service provider, entitled “The State of Distracted Driving in 2023 and the Future of Road Safety,” found that distracted driving increased by 20% from 2020 to 2022.
Per this study, the two most important metrics are phone motion and screen interaction. Phone motion (up 21%) refers to a driver handling his or her phone while driving. Screen interaction (up 23%) refers to a driver watching, calling or texting on, or listening to whatever is on his or her phone’s screen.
Some relevant – and disturbing – statistics from this report include the following:
- Percentage of trips with phone motion: up 7.7%
- Percentage of trips with screen interaction: up 7.6%
- Percentage of phone motion above 50 miles per hour: up 5%
- Percentage of time spent in screen interaction: up 23.4%
All of this distracted driving has resulted in a 10.5% increase in road fatalities.
Most dangerous days
On any given day, an average of 56% of drivers interact with their phones while behind the wheel. Holidays are the worst days for phone interaction, with Christmas and Thanksgiving taking the lead at 61% and 60% respectively.
This study calls distracted driving “the most urgent road safety crisis facing Americans today.” With approximately 85% of people owning a smartphone today, the message of this report is clear. For your own safety, as well as that of other drivers, passengers, pedestrians and cyclists, do not use your phone – even hands-free – while driving.