Thanks to the rise of internet-connected smartphones and in-car infotainment systems, modern drivers are faced with more distractions on the road than ever before. While distracted driving has always posed a threat to driver safety, it’s become a far more pressing issue in recent years due to these eye-catching technological innovations.
The evidence of this rise distracted driving is everywhere. You probably don’t have to look far on your morning commute to find a driver checking a text as they change lanes, or queuing up the next track in a Spotify playlist while cruising down the highway. You might even catch yourself reflexively glancing at your phone from time to time. It’s an all-too-common offense that just about everyone has been guilty of at one point or another.
Now, a new study conducted by data analytics firm Zendrive is revealing just how common distracted driving is on America’s roads. In a disturbing revelation, the study found that drivers check their smartphones during 88 out of 100 trips. This statistic was based on a 3-month analysis of 3.1 million drivers who took 570 million trips over a total of 5.6 billion miles. According to the study’s results, when drivers took their eyes off the road for just 2 seconds, their chances of getting in an accident increased by more than 20 percent.
In addition to these nationwide statistics, Zendrive also broke down their findings to determine which states had the highest rates of distracted driving. The study found that Oregon had the lowest rate of distracted driving, with the average driver spending 2.2 minutes per hour looking at their smartphone. Texas, meanwhile, was listed at number 17 in the top 20 worst states for distracted driving.
In fact, the Texas State Senate has just approved a bill that would enact a state-wide ban on texting and driving. Similar bills have failed to pass the Texas State Legislature in the past, but this one stands a good chance of becoming law. If it’s approved by Governor Greg Abbott, the law will go into effect in September of 2017. After struggling for years to face the reality of this distracted driving epidemic, it seems Texas Lawmakers might finally be ready to address the problem head on.