Insurance Study Shows Distracted Driving Getting Worse

According to a study from Travelers Insurance, distracted driving is on the rise again, after declining during the pandemic. To get more detail on the problem, Travelers commissioned a research firm to conduct two surveys in January. The first was a national online survey of 1,000 consumers between 18 and 69 years of age, asking about their perceptions and behaviors related to distracted driving. The second was a questionnaire tracking responses from 1,050 executives from businesses of all sizes, including trucking. The resulting “2024 Travelers Risk Index” showed that specific behaviors are on the rise since before the pandemic include.

If you haven’t downloaded and implemented ICSA’s model Distracted Driving Policy, now is the time. Find it here. Driving while distracted was a key factor in near misses, which increased 30% in 2021and 40% in 2022. The study cited National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data showing that U.S. traffic deaths jumped by 10.5% in 2021, after decades of steady declines. Total U.S. traffic fatalities for that year totaled 42,915 and reached their highest level since 2005. Major distracted driving factors include:

  • Updating or checking social media: +13%.
  • Typing a text or email: +10%.
  • Talking on a cellphone even though hands-free: +10%.
  • Using a cellphone to record videos/take photos: +9%.
  • Reading a text or email: +9%.

Of the executives surveyed, 85% said they are concerned about their employees’ use of mobile technology while driving; 68% of executives surveyed said they have implemented distracted driving policies, including workplace rules such as: 

  • Formally communicating about restrictions concerning phone calls, texts and/or emails while driving for work (84%)
  • Requiring employees to sign an acknowledgment of the policy (66%)
  • Disciplining employees who do not comply with company policy (77%).
  • Prohibiting the use of handheld devices while driving (53%). 

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