It’s common knowledge that using your phone while driving is dangerous. But people do it anyway – around twice as much as they’re willing to admit, according to a new study.
The study by Zendrive, a research company working to improve road safety, looked at 570 million trips among 3.1 million drivers between December 2016 and February 2017 and found drivers used their phones a whooping 88 percent of the time.
They also found time on phones averaged three and a half minutes for every hour of driving. Looking away from the road for two seconds increases your chances of crashing 24 times over.
That number is much higher than previous studies that asked drivers to self-identify if they were texting while driving. About 40 percent of drivers admitted in a 2016 AAA Foundation survey that they read an email or text while driving in the past month, and about a third said they had written a text or email.
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Meanwhile, 81 percent said texting while driving is a “very serious threat to safety” and 88 percent support a texting ban, according to the same survey. Nearly all states and U.S. territories have blanket laws banning either handheld phone use or texting while driving, with Montana, Missouri, Arizona and Texas the exceptions. All four of those states have proposed those laws but have not passed them, though Texas does ban the use of phones in school zones.
The state with the most distracted drivers was Vermont, according to Zendrive, and the least distracted drivers were in Oregon. It’s unclear how much of an effect bans on phone use have on cutting down on distracted driving, based on Zendrive’s findings.
In 2015, 3,477 people were killed due to distracted driving and nearly 400,000 were injured, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.