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Study Finds Rampant Distracted Driving

A study by Zendrive examines how many U.S. drivers can't put down their phones.
March 26, 2018, 9am PDT | Casey Brazeal | @northandclark
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Text and Drive
Ovidiu Dugulan

Zendrive, a San Francisco-based tech company, tracked use of cellphones in cars. "Of the 2.3 million drivers it monitored over 5.6 billion miles, some 12 percent were characterized as mobile-phone addicts—calling, texting or scrolling through apps three times more than the average driver," reports Kyle Stock. Zendrive writes that these "addicts" are more common in the American South where the percentage is closer to 17 percent.

This information is particularly interesting in a time when roads are becoming more dangerous. "After decades of gradual declines, U.S. road deaths surged by 14.4 percent between 2014 and 2016. The largest fatality spikes were among pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists, all of whom are relatively easy to miss from behind the wheel for a driver glancing at a text message," Stock writes.

Still, it's hard to know how much more dangerous these drivers are, or if this behavior is the threshold for dangerous behavior. Anyone who has waited for a bus at a busy intersection and watched texting drivers go by can see that the problem goes beyond 12 percent of the population.

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Published on Monday, March 19, 2018 in Bloomberg
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