Drivers Use Phones 20% of the Time

Bloomberg has a story featuring data from a company called TrueMotion that apparenly helps insurance companies monitor phone usage while driving:

Across the U.S., many states have distracted-driving laws in place. Yet federal studies estimate over 3,000 people a year die from distracted driving, and safety experts believe the actual number is far higher.

Bloomberg

To give you some context 2,977 victims died on September 11, 2001 –– one of the most horrific attacks in American public conciousness. When it comes to distracted driving, it’s 9/11 every year.

This problem is solvable, and it’s critical that we take care of it sooner than later.

The data shared with Bloomberg comes from TrueMotion’s analysis of the roughly 30,000 drivers using one of two free apps that the company offers: TrueMotion Family, targeted mostly to parents of driving-age teenagers; and Mojo, an incentive-based app where subscribers can accumulate points for safe driving and then exchange those for rewards.

Bloomberg

To be clear, the data we’re about to see comes only from people using TrueMotion’s apps. Obviously, people using their apps are trying not to use their phones while driving –– and the data is is still this bad. If we could see the data for the broader population, it would be much worse.

With that in mind:

 Drivers text and drive about 30% more during the holidays, according to Matt Fiorentino, marketing director for TrueMotion. On an average weekday, the percentage of texting while driving is 9.1%; that figure shoots up to 13.5% on Thanksgiving and 12.1% on Christmas.

Bloomberg

Be extra vigilant this holiday season. Including and especially when you’re on Autopilot.

New York drivers called, texted or swiped through apps about 22% of the time they were on the road. Los Angeles fared slightly worse

Bloomberg

That’s horrifying. If there are 5 cars arond you, someone is using their phone. Many people try and push the misconception that driver assistance systems cause distracted driving. TrueMotion’s data proves this is ridiculous: Drivers are using their phone in the car all the time. That’s not going to change anytime soon.

The only safe way forward is designing cars that can perceive and respond to what’s happening around them.

About 90 percent of voters support stronger laws to crack down on smartphones at the wheel, according to Stopdistractions.org, a safety advocacy that lobbies for stronger handheld phone laws all over the country. “People know they shouldn’t be doing it, but they can’t stop,” says Stopdistractions.org founder Jennifer Smith. “They realize that they need that law.”

Bloomberg

How about a law requiring Autopilot in every new car sold by 2022?

New Yorkers use their phone 22% of the time when driving. Los Angeles is worse. We need autonomy now.

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