Distracted driving is the highest in these US states

Distracted driving - Person using phone while driving

Some states are making concerted efforts to make sure motorists are focusing on the road.

Distracted driving is a major cause of crashes, destruction of property and even serious injury and death on American roads, and some states are making larger efforts than others to spot these drivers on their roads.

Much of the time that drivers aren’t focused on the road, they are doing something with their phones.

Across the United States, motorists are being told to put their phones down, because their distracted driving habits are causing damage and death. This includes everything from talking and texting to checking social media, looking for somewhere to eat, or selecting music.

Distracted driving - Person texting while driving

Research was conducted by the Assurance insurance company, surveying over 3,000 drivers in the United States between April 25 and May 12, 2023. The survey focused on information regarding behaviors that can take a driver’s focus off the road and identified certain trends among the habits of the survey participants.

There were certain distracted driving behaviors that proved to be the most common among the participants.

The survey found that the most common distractions while behind the wheel included:

  • Choosing music (68.9 percent)
  • Checking the GPS (56.1 percent)
  • Interacting with other adults in the car (54.8 percent), such as by engaging in conversation or other types of interaction
  • Eating food (37.5 percent)
  • Interacting with children in the car (21.1 percent)
  • Texting (19.2 percent)
  • Emailing (9.6 percent)
  • Talking on the phone (18.1 percent)
  • Looking at themselves in the mirror (11.9 percent)
  • Applying makeup (2.1 percent)
  • Checking social media feeds (7.4 percent)

According to Assurance, the states with the worst rate of distracted driving were Mississippi and New Hampshire, which were tied with 50 percent of all drivers admitted to such habits. On the other end of the scale, New York was by far the state with the lowest rate of these behaviors, at 14.8 percent. This was considerably lower than the state with the second lowest rate of these behaviors, which was Pennsylvania, at 20.0 percent.

West Virginia was the state in which drivers were most likely to text while behind the wheel, where the average driver sent 11.3 texts per month. On the other hand, New York drivers sent an average of 0.7 texts per month while operating a vehicle.

Insurance FAQ's
FAQs on 2023 Distracted Driving Statistics

1. What is the main cause of distracted driving?
The most common distractions for drivers in 2023 were choosing music (68.9%), checking the GPS (56.1%), and interacting with other adults in the car (54.8%).

2. How many drivers admit to eating while driving?
In 2023, 37.5% of drivers admitted to eating food while driving.

3. What percentage of drivers engage in texting while driving?
In 2023, 19.2% of drivers admitted to texting while driving.

4. Which states had the highest rate of distracted driving in 2023?
Mississippi and New Hampshire tied for the states with the highest rate of distracted driving in 2023, with 50% of all drivers admitting to such habits.

5. Which state had the lowest rate of distracted driving in 2023?
New York was the state with the lowest rate of distracted driving in 2023, with only 14.8% of drivers admitting to these behaviors.

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6. What was the most common form of distraction while driving in 2023?
Choosing music was the most common form of distraction while driving in 2023, with 68.9% of drivers admitting to this behavior.

7. How many drivers admitted to checking social media feeds while driving in 2023?
In 2023, 7.4% of drivers admitted to checking their social media feeds while driving.

8. How prevalent was emailing while driving in 2023?
Emailing while driving was less common in 2023, with only 9.6% of drivers admitting to this behavior.

9. Were there any surprising findings in the 2023 distracted driving statistics?
One surprising finding was that only 2.1% of drivers admitted to applying makeup while driving in 2023.

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