April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, andacross the country, law enforcementis cracking down on distracted driving. In New York State, forexample, penalties for cell-phone use while driving are hefty, withfees of $800 and a penalty of 5 points for a firstoffense.

|

Despite expensive ticket threats and safe driving awarenesscampaigns, only 12% of U.S. drivers say they are doing anything toprevent distracted driving habits by using safety features on theirphone.

|

New data from Travelers 2018 Risk Index focuses on distracteddriving and perception of risks among drivers and passengers.Consistent with Travelers' Risk Index surveys from previous years, anoverwhelming majority of people surveyed (more than 90%) saythey worry about distraction caused by people using personaltechnology while driving.

|

Of those polled, 85% said it isextremely risky to use smartphones or tablets while driving,yet roughly a quarter of respondents (25%) said they do itanyway and believe they can do so “safely.”

|

But data from Travelers proves there is no way to use technologywhile driving safely, as you are 23 times more likely to get intoan accident if you text and drive.

|

Related: 5 best practices to fight the effects of distracteddriving

|

What's distracting us?

Travelers 2018 Risk Index found that nearly 40% of drivers aredistracted for almost 15 minutes per hour, on average.

|

Approximately one in 10 respondents reported being frequentlydistracted by technology while driving.

|

Among admitted distracted drivers, 61% say they respond totexts, emails and phone calls while drivingbecause “there might be an emergency.” FOMO (“fear of missingout”) affects 23% of motorists, who say they engage in cell phoneuse while driving because they are afraid of missing out onsomething.

|

Joan Woodward,executive vice president, Public Policy, and president of theTravelers Institute says these results show a clear disconnectbetween drivers' perception of what is safe and the reality ofwhat is happening on our roads.

|

In response, Travelers has launched the Every SecondMatters initiative tohelp change perceptions about this problem so people start takingit seriously.

|

“Distracted driving is involvedin an average of 40 crashes every day in Colorado, and in 2016,those crashes resulted in 67 deaths,” said Sam Cole, traffic safetycommunications manager for the Colorado Department ofTransportation (CDOT). “Initiatives such as Travelers'Every Second Mattersseries and CDOT'sDrop the Distractioncampaign help raise awareness aboutthe dangers of taking your eyes off the road, with the goal ofimproving safety.”

|

For more information aboutdistracted driving risks and how to stay safe behind the wheel,visit the Travelers Prepare &Prevent website.

|

Related: Distracted living: What it means forinsurance

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free PropertyCasualty360 Digital Reader

  • All PropertyCasualty360.com news coverage, best practices, and in-depth analysis.
  • Educational webcasts, resources from industry leaders, and informative newsletters.
  • Other award-winning websites including BenefitsPRO.com and ThinkAdvisor.com.
NOT FOR REPRINT

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from www.copyright.com. All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.