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New Study Proves Drivers Are Distracted By Cellphone Use

May 17, 2017

Results from the latest study conducted by an automobile safety company called "EverQuote, Inc." show that drivers with cellphones in their cars use them quite frequently. The results of the study indicated that 92% of all people who had a cellphone in their car used it while they were driving within the last 30 days. The sheer volume of drivers who take their eyes away from the road to look at their cellphones is staggering. Even more shocking was the revelation that most drivers had no idea how often they looked at their phones even though they considered themselves to be good drivers.

The results of the study were based on movements of the car in motion measured by a cellphone application called "EverDrive," ironically enough. The EverDrive App analyzed 2.7 million vehicle trips covering 230 million miles. EverDrive also calculated the frequency of hard braking, speeding, dangerous acceleration, and hard turning in addition to tracking cellphone usage. The study did not include hands-free cellphone use in its results nor did it include accidental motion, such as the phone falling off of a car seat or out of a center console.

Cellphone usage while users of the EverDrive application has dropped from last year at the rate of 4%. It is a step in the right direction, but there is still a long way to go before making any headway toward stopping this dangerous trend. The figure only captures frequency of cellphone usage while driving over the previous 30 days. The EverDrive application also calculates the frequency of cellphone use on a daily basis. The study found that "southerners" used their cellphones on a trip 41% of the time. Other geographic regions across the country use their phones at a rate of 34% to 37% of the time. Nationwide, drivers use their phones for .5 miles out of every 11 miles driven.

EverQuote recognizes the limitations of the application. There is no method for the application to distinguish hard braking due to inattentiveness as opposed to doing so to avoid the neighbor's pet. Moreover, EverQuote fails to consider the time of day which, if taken into consideration, might skew the numbers lower.

EverQuote developed interesting statistics based on the demographics of the driver. For example, male drivers are 10% less likely to use their phones while driving than their female companions. Drivers who are younger than 21 years old are 15% more likely to look at their phone while driving than people older than 21. Drivers younger than 21 used their cellphone on 45% trips. In contrast, drivers over the age of 21 use their phone on about 39% of all trips.

There is one statistic that jumps off of the page at the reader when reviewing the EverDrive study results. More than 50% of all crashes occurred just after the driver used his or her phone. The average length of the cellphone use was 135 seconds before the crash.

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Category: Auto Accidents

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