Welcome to the most distracted time of the year. For millions of high school and college students, school is history and they’re hitting the road. Families are planning their summer vacations. Driving miles surge in the summer compared to the winter. And so does, unfortunately, distracted driving.
Distracted driving jumps 8% during the summer months compared to the rest of the year. Drivers spend close to 13.6 minutes of every hour using their phone while driving during the summer. It’s 12.6 minutes for other seasons on average. We’ve teamed up with our friends at Travelers Insurance to tell everyone about it.
The summer is a particularly dangerous time for an increase in distraction. The 100 days from Memorial Day to when kids are back in school are known as the 100 deadliest days of summer. AAA found that over 1,000 people will die in crashes with teenage drivers during this time, about 10 per day. Distracted driving contributes close to 60% of crashes.
It’s common for distracted driving to change throughout the year and to spike on certain days. During the summer months, there are more kids on the road and families traveling for vacation. People also drive about 20% more miles during the summer months. During winter holidays, such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years, distraction increases by 30% compared to typical weekday driving. People travel 25% more miles during the winter holidays. There are 29% more driving fatalities during the summer than winter.
We analyzed the behavior of more than 20,000 drivers on the TrueMotion platform from January 2017 through May 2018 for this research. The TrueMotion platform collects raw smartphone sensor data and uses machine learning to determine when a person is driving and if she is actively distracted. It reveals active distraction – such as texting, phone calls, and using apps like Facebook – and passive distraction – such as apps for music and maps.
July is the most distracted month of the year at 13.7 minutes per hour. June and September are tied for second at 13.6 minutes per hour. August is a close third at 13.5 minutes per hour. At 12 minutes per hour, April has the lowest amount of distracted driving. April is also distracted driving awareness month. Perhaps the increased awareness is inspiring drivers to put down their phones.
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