You know that distracted driving is a problem. You may even think you’re a superstar at avoiding phone calls and texting while you drive, but research from several apps and companies that monitor phone use and driving, suggests otherwise. One company, Zendrive, took data from millions of cellphones and matched it with a self-assessment from the same drivers. When asked if they were good at focusing on the road, most distracted drivers said yes, and around one-third of the worst distracted drivers reported they were “extremely safe” while driving.
This doesn’t stop at texting or talking on the phone. Drivers are live streaming and having FaceTime conversations while behind the wheel. Smartphones and accompanying apps are highly-addictive, which is why Zendrive and others including research by TrueMotion and Cambridge Mobile Telematics are working to monitor the driver instead of the vehicle. The results showed that Americans have no idea how often they touch their phone while they drive, but there’s hope in awareness.
Connected Travel is a company who rewards Las Vegas and San Diego drivers for safe driving. They found that four out of five participants who checked their driving metrics reduced their phone use by 40 percent. Cambridge Mobile found similar numbers with a 35 percent reduction in distraction levels for active participants. These apps and devices have already proven more effective than distracted driving laws, police department initiatives, and advocacy groups.
In other words, seeing how often you touch your phone, makes you more aware of your distraction tendencies and less likely to scroll through Instagram at a stop light.
More and more auto insurance providers are offering discounts to drivers who are willing to use safety devices that monitor phone use and driving. This saves you money for being a good driver who puts your phone on “do not disturb,” but it also allows underwriters to identify those who are prone to phone use and potentially charge them accordingly in the future. One out of five U.S. insurers offer consumer discounts for vehicle monitors, and these incentive programs showed a 15 percent rise in traffic-related deaths from 2014 to 2016.
In Florida specifically, the average time spent on the phone while driving rose from 5 percent in 2018 to nearly 8 percent in 2019 so far. Zendrive data showed a ten percent increase across the country. The truth is that Americans don’t know how to stop themselves from picking up their smartphone while they drive.
Distracted Driving & Auto Accident Claims
Distracted driving is one of the sure-fire ways to lose an auto accident claim. Drivers who were using a mobile device just before a collision are more likely to be denied by their auto insurance provider than someone who was speeding or otherwise at fault. Initial data shows smartphone users file 20 percent more insurance claims than any other type of customer.
There’s a severe disconnect between what people believe and what they’re doing, and the data continues to back this. Drivers don’t understand or recognize their own conduct, which has dire consequences for everyone on the road.
Contact Our Fort Myers Auto Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one was injured in an auto accident involving distracted driving or any negligence, please contact James “Jim for Justice” Kelleher in Fort Myers or Naples today at (833) 546-3675 for a free consultation. Kelleher Law specializes in auto accident cases and serves surrounding areas of Southwest Florida.