April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and the number of distracted drivers has increased since the start of the pandemic. According to Travelers 2023 Distracted Driving Risk Index70% of survey participants believe that distraction while driving is now a bigger problem than it was a few years ago, and respondents admitted to distractions while driving, including phone calls, social media use, and taking photos or videos on handheld devices. .
CCC Intelligent Solutions Crash Course 2023 The report shows that drivers are speeding and distracted from driving now, post-pandemic, more than ever, with claims up 3.7% in 2022 compared to 2021.
Data However, Driver Technologies points out that driver safety programs and anti-distraction technologies reduce driving distractions. An analysis of over 17,000 drivers using a dash cam for 20 hours found that drivers were 11 times less likely to speed and 4 times less likely to pass stop signs without stopping. Drivers were also three times less likely to close the tailgate or brake hard, potentially preventing vehicle collisions.
“One of the primary ways that telematics data is helping to reduce and eliminate distractions while driving is by getting drivers to put down their phones. Telematics data can detect phone usage while driving and penalize users who are distracted by lowering their driving scores or discounts on insurance premiums. reinforcement helps discourage phone use while driving and instead, drivers focus on the task at hand, driving,” writes Marcus Newbery, COO and co-founder of Driver Technologies. Digital Insurance.
“Computer vision is another incredible technology to help reduce and eliminate distractions while driving with a dash cam or in-car camera, as it helps identify objects and warns them audibly when they get too close to the vehicle in front. Many newer vehicles are also equipped with dash cams and in-cabin cameras that use computer vision to sound alert drivers who begin to fall asleep while driving, detecting changes in head postures that are not focused on the road,” adds Newbery.
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety survey reports published in November 2022 that distracted driving is more common among people under 50, although in general all age groups and demographics are involved in distracted driving. Research from 2023 Nationwide Driving Behavior Study reiterates this, reporting that mobile phone use while driving is especially prevalent among Gen Z drivers and millennials. The report shows that 32% of Gen Zers and 38% of Millennials have admitted to texting while driving, and 47% of both groups say they have answered or called from a mobile device while driving.
Kelly Hernandez, Nationwide Assistant Vice President of Personal Lines Telematics, says: “Overall, there has been a worrying trend in our younger generation of drivers. were also very surprised… 34% admitted that they had video chat while driving, and if you are talking with a friend on the phone, then your eyes are definitely not on the road.”
Hernandez says: “One of the things we’ve identified is that it’s hard to fix bad behavior that you’re not aware of. With our programs like telematics – like SmartRide – with their mobile app, we provide a lot of information about how you ride and where you might have opportunities.”
In 2020, Nationwide began collecting and analyzing data on distracting driving and found that “70% of all trips made each day were distracted. And 45% of our drivers are distracted at least once a day…,” says Hernandez. She notes that Nationwide implemented an “information-only” system in which drivers received feedback on distracting driving behavior.
“Just by providing this information, we were able to reduce distraction by almost 10 points, which is great because it shows that these programs really work. They really help our drivers become safer. states.
Joan Woodward, President of the Travelers Institute and Executive Vice President of Public Policy at Travelers, also shares the solutions and technologies available to combat distracted driving available through Travelers in an email to: Digital Insurance.
“One of the main ways Travelers has focused on raising awareness about distraction driving is through consumer education. These include: the company’s annual Distracted Driving Risk Index, a survey of 1,000 consumers and more than 1,000 business leaders. may be driving, and offers actionable solutions to help mitigate those risks…,” Woodward writes.
Woodward also believes that telematics can help prevent distracting driving behavior. IntelliDrive for Travelers is a program that evaluates driver behavior and performance through a mobile app, collecting data on mobile phone usage and accident detection. Drivers with a safe driving style are rewarded with insurance savings, and those who exhibit more risky habits may earn higher premiums.
“In IntelliDrive, we’ve built additional resources to help prevent distraction from driving, such as the Distraction Strip feature, which alerts drivers to the number of trips they’ve taken in a row without interacting with their phone,” Woodward writes.