During the pandemic, distracted driving increased, and it hasn’t gone down since.

Until relatively recently, good data on the problem of distracted driving has been hard to find. The government estimates that 3,522 people died because of it in 2021, but experts say the official number probably majorly undercounts the number of deaths, in part because police are rarely able to definitively prove that a driver was distracted right before a crash.

In the last few years, though, the data on distracted driving has gotten better. Cambridge Mobile Telematics is a company that partners with major insurance companies to offer downloadable apps that drivers can use to save money on their rates. Via the apps, Cambridge Mobile Telematics (CMT) uses mobile phone sensors to measure driving behavior, including whether a person is speeding, holding their phone, or interacting with an unlocked screen while driving (the company says it doesn’t collect information on what the drivers are doing on their phones). Its work gives the company insight into the driving behaviors of more than 10 million people.

CMT recently analyzed driver behavior during millions of car trips. What it found should be troubling to anyone who uses a road in the US: During the pandemic, American drivers got even more distracted by their phones while driving. The amount of distracted driving hasn’t receded, even as life has mostly stabilized.

  • @dmtalon
    74 months ago

    I live in a small town and I run through the side streets around me. Have been for years.

    This winter season of running (when my evening runs are during dusk/dark) I wear multiple lights and have typically considered myself more visible than during daytime running. However that has not been the case this year. I’ve had to get out of the way of oncoming traffic a few times which has only happened one time previously.

    It is ridiculous how little people are paying attention while moving around in 4-6k lb metal cages.

    Whether it’s messing with their phone, or their touch screen infotainment systems it’s quite the time be along a roadway trying to exercise.