Industry Research

Operators Beware: Summer Brings More Distracted Driving

Posted on June 16, 2018
Don't be this guy.

Don't be this guy.

HARTFORD, Conn. – The Travelers Companies, Inc., a provider of casualty insurance for auto, home, and business, and its public policy division, the Travelers Institute, are warning drivers about the increased risk for distracted driving this summer.

TrueMotion, a smartphone telematics platform, recently analyzed the behavior of more than 20,000 drivers from January 2017 to May 2018 and found they spent less time looking at the road and more time looking at their phones during the months of June, July, and August. Specifically, the findings indicate summertime drivers are distracted for an average of about 15 minutes of every hour they spend driving — an increase of nearly 10% when compared to the rest of the year.

“Summer road trips, vacations, and holidays mean more people will be on the road, making it especially important to focus on driving and avoid distractions that could lead to accidents,” said Michael Klein, executive VP and president of personal insurance at Travelers. “We launched our Every Second Matters initiative to educate people about the dangers of distracted driving and to share practical steps that can be taken to keep our roads safe.”

The summer months bring increased traffic from additional vehicles, as well as a higher number of pedestrians on the streets and more construction projects. There are 20% more miles driven in the summer months than in winter, and the months of June, July, and August have 29% more roadway deaths than the winter months of December, January, and February, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, .

The Travelers Institute will discuss the dangers of distracted driving and the new data from TrueMotion on June 15 during its Every Second Matters symposium on Capitol Hill.

“When you look away from the road, for even a few seconds, you lose the time needed to react properly to your surroundings,” said Charlie Klauer, research scientist and leader. “Our research shows the problem is only getting worse, so we need to continue talking about this in hopes that eventually distracted driving becomes as unacceptable as not wearing a seat belt or drinking and driving.”  

“The risk of distracted driving is real and yet entirely preventable,” said TrueMotion CEO Ted Gramer. “Our hope is that we can make a difference by continuously emphasizing the dangers we pose to ourselves and others any time we aren’t 100% focused while driving.”

“It’s important that we use this information to bring more attention to the problem,” said Robert Molloy, director for the Office of Highway Safety at the National Transportation Safety Board. “We should have the conversation with our friends and family, encouraging each other to stay focused while driving, and speak up when others are engaging in risky behaviors behind the wheel.”

The Travelers Institute also recently issued a report, Every Second Matters: A conversation starter on reducing distracted driving risk, which explores recent trends in motor vehicle collisions and provides safe driving tips. For more information about distracted driving and summer travel safety, visit the Travelers Prepare & Prevent website.

Source: Travelers press release

Related Topics: chauffeur behavior, chauffeur training, distracted driving, driver behavior, driver safety, passenger safety, research and trends, Safety, Safety & Insurance

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