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Distracted driving may be worse than anyone realized

We have all heard the public service announcements about distracted driving. Yet despite the focus placed on preventing texting and driving, it appears that people may be on their phones more than ever.

According to a 100-billion mile data study compiled by Zendrive, a data analytics company, approximately 69 million drivers use their cellphone while driving every day. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 660,000 drivers use their cell phone every day.

That's a large discrepancy. It is possible more people are driving distracted than anyone has realized. Keep in mind that even if federal estimates are more accurate, that still poses a terrible risk on the road. 

There's more:

  • On average, drivers use their phones two minutes for every hour driven
  • Most distracted driving occurs during daylight hours
  • Distracted driving increases on holidays

Zendrive alleges that distracted driving is getting worse, not better, despite most people acknowledging that distracted driving is dangerous. According to their data analysis, distracted driving was worse in every state except two.

Colorado, which Zendrive rated as the 23-worst state for driver cellphone use, had an increased rate of distracted driving. They ranked the Denver metro area as the 15th worst state for distracted driving in the U.S.

So how bad of a problem is distracted driving?

The discrepancy between federal estimates and Zendrive's data analytics is staggering. While it is hard to know how many drivers use their cell phones at any given time, it is safe to say it is a problem. One in four accidents is the result of cellphone use. And whether hundreds of thousands or millions of drivers are paying more attention to their phone than the road, it only takes one distracted driver to forever alter the life of a car accident victim.

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