Distracted Driving on the Rise
Texting and Driving

Distracted driving is rising on the nation’s roads.

Cambridge Mobile Telematics (CMT) is a vehicle technology service provider whose stated mission is to make driving safer.  In April it released its “2022 Distracted Driving Report,” which concluded that distracted driving is now more prevalent than prior to the pandemic.

Specifically, distracted driving was 30% higher in February 2022 than February 2020. For the purposes of this report, CMT measured distracted driving by the time drivers spent on their cell phone while behind the wheel.

According to CMT, February 2022 was the worst month for distracted driving since early 2019.

According to CMT, distracted driving increases in the summer, largely due to more teenage drivers, and falls in the winter.  In 2019 the summer distracted driving increase was 9%.  In 2020 it was 11%.  But in 2021 distracted driving levels remained high year-round.

In June the Governors Highway Safety Association, a consortium of state traffic safety officials, released its own report on distracted driving (“Directing Drivers Attention”). The report notes that more than 3,100 people were killed in distracted driving crashes in 2020, the last year for finalized federal data.

Other High Risk Driving Distractions

The GHSA report expands on drivers’ distractions. It lists common actions in addition to texting or talking on a cell phone that take a person’s focus off driving or requires them to take their hands off the wheel.  These include:

  • Talking with passengers
  • Eating or drinking
  • Fiddling with vehicle instruments, such as the radio

The report classifies the actions as to their prevalence and their risk. It finds texting, calling or browsing the internet on a cell phone, as well as using an in-vehicle device, as both “High Risk” and “High Prevalence.”

It also notes several studies on distracted driving, including one in which the subjects were found to engage in potentially distracting activities more than half of their driving time. The 2016 study concluded the increase in cell phone capabilities, such as internet browsing, was likely to be most responsible for an increase in motor vehicle accidents.

Drivers who carelessly pay more attention to their cell phones than the road can cause catastrophic, even deadly crashes.  They should be, and frequently are,  held responsible to their victims or their victims’ families.

If you were seriously hurt or lost a loved one in a car crash caused by another driver, turn to a car accident attorney to pursue your legal rights to just compensation from all those responsible.

The choice of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements.

Authored by Gray Ritter Graham.  Posted in Blog August 17, 2022.


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