Study: Distracted Driving Contributing to Dangerous Roads

Many drivers report feeling pressured to respond to work-related calls or texts while driving, leading to more distracted driving and riskier road conditions.

April 12, 2022, 6:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Text and Drive

Ovidiu Dugulan / Shutterstock

As Scott Achelpohl reports, results from the 2022 Travelers Risk Index show that “Work-related pressures are a significant contributor to distracted driving, as one-third of respondents stated that their own driving has improved over the past of couple years but admitted to making phone calls and reading text messages while behind the wheel.”

“The risk survey from Travelers—its subsidiary Northland is the third largest commercial truck insurer in the U.S.—suggests that work-related pressure might be leading to distracted driving.” Respondents reported feeling like they need to be available for work calls or texts even when driving, and “one-third of [business managers surveyed] said they expect employees to answer or participate in work calls while driving, according to Travelers.”

According to the article, “The Travelers Risk Index also found that distracted drivers are more likely to correct their behavior when their passengers speak up. Of the respondents, 87% who use cell phones while driving said they would be less likely to do so if a passenger chimed in.”

These findings correlate with statistics showing that traffic deaths rose in the last year, up 18 percent from 2019. “Mileage in 2021 rebounded 11% from COVID-19 lows in 2020 and only lagged 2019 mileage by 1%. The estimated mileage death rate in 2021 is 1.43 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, down 2% from 1.46 in 2020 but up 19% from 1.20 in 2019.”

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