Drivers are addicted to their phones and that’s causing havoc

A recent study has found that “phone addicts” are more common on the road than drivers who speed.

Recently, San Francisco-based tech startup Zendrive released the results of its study into risky driver personas. As Digital Trends reports, the study found that people who are addicted to their mobile phones are the most prevalent type of risky driver, well ahead of those who typically speed or brake and accelerate suddenly. The study, which is able to track mobile phone usage much more accurately than federal data, also shows that distracted driving laws seem to have little effect on deterring the most dangerous of drivers.

A more accurate look at distracted driving

Zendrive is utilized by insurance companies and ride-hailing services as a way of building more accurate risk profiles. The company uses mobile phone technology that is synced with apps and GPS to determine when a driver is using their phone, what they are doing with it, and how fast the vehicle is travelling at the time. That technology gives Zendrive a much more accurate picture of distracted driving than federal data does. Federal data relies mainly on police reports, which are prone to human error and tend to drastically underrate the extent of distracted driving (since distracted drivers rarely admit to being distracted).

The Zendrive study found that so-called "phone addicts" were the most prevalent type of risky driver. A phone addict spends 3.2 times more time on their phone while driving than the average driver does. About 12 percent of U.S. drivers are estimated to be phone addicts according to this study. That was followed by nine percent of drivers categorized as "lead-footers" (i.e., those who brake suddenly or accelerate rapidly) and eight percent who are "speed demons" (who spend 5.9 times more than average exceeding the legal speed limits).

A small and dangerous group of drivers

While 12 percent is not a huge number, this small group does wreak havoc on the roads. As Bloomberg points out, laws against texting and driving and talking on the phone while driving seem to have little impact on discouraging phone addicts from picking up their mobile devices while driving.

That fact is especially concerning given that traffic fatalities have soared by over 14 percent in recent years. Since the biggest spikes in fatalities have been among road users who are harder to spot by distracted drivers (such as pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists), it is likely that this relatively small group of phone addicts is having an outsized impact on overall serious motor vehicle accident rates.

Help for accident victims

A motor vehicle accident can be a devastating experience and, unfortunately for victims, pursuing compensation through the insurance companies can be a hassle. That's why anybody who has been hurt in an accident should contact a personal injury attorney for help. An experienced attorney can negotiate with the insurance companies directly on a client's behalf and, if necessary, pursue claims for compensation in court.