Fleet Safety

Distracted Driving Facts & Statistics 2022

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We’ve talked extensively about distracted driving on this blog, and with good reason. For a long time, distracted driving has been a significant cause of accidents in our country. Distracted driving occurs whenever a driver takes their eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, or mind off of driving. 

The three main categories of distracted driving are visual, manual, and cognitive. You can read all about these categories and more about defining distracted driving in our blog article, “What are the Three Main Categories of Distracted Driving?” Here, we will explore updated facts and statistics regarding distracted driving for 2022. 

What to Know About Distracted Driving

These are distracted driving facts derived from research performed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

  • Distracted driving was involved in 8.1 % of fatal vehicle accidents, and 20% of injuries in accidents involved a distracted driver.
  • Distracted driving killed 3,477 people and injured 391,000 in 2015. 
  • Drivers are distracted by their phones 10% of the time while driving. 

The Evolution of Distracted Driving Statistics

Distracted driving may seem like a problem that has just cropped up, but it has actually been an issue for quite a while. Let’s explore historical distracted driving statistics to see what’s changed and what hasn’t. 

In 2006, the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute performed one of the first studies on distracted driving. They found that 80% of crashes and 65% of near-crashes involved one of the drivers being inattentive within three seconds of the event. Even back then, the most common distraction they found was cell phone use. However, they determined that cell phone use was not one of the most dangerous distractions. Instead, reaching for a moving object increased the risk of an accident by nine times, while talking on a cell phone increased the risk only 1.3 times. 

In 2006, the University of Utah determined that talking on a cell phone behind the wheel was equally as dangerous as drunk driving. 

We find an interesting pattern in NHTSA statistics from 2010 to 2020. You may be surprised that the number of distracted driving accidents hasn’t increased or decreased significantly during this time, except in 2020, when they decreased due to fewer drivers on the road. Interestingly, there were more fatal distracted driving accidents in 2020 than in the previous four years. Each year, the number of accidents has been between 885,000 and 986,000 (again, with 2020 as an exception at 680,000.) Meanwhile, deaths have stayed between 2,910 and 3,142. 

Although we have placed more focus on distracted driving, we have not significantly decreased the behavior. 

Prevent Distracted Driving in Your Fleet

As a fleet manager, you want to prevent accidents from occurring in your fleet. Azuga can help you accomplish this goal with dash cams, telematics, and a safety rewards program. Our fleet management software is a comprehensive solution to all aspects of fleet management. Schedule a demo today to see what our software can do for you!