Study Shows Distracted Driving is Changing, but Risks Remain
Statement for attribution to Governors Highway Safety Association Director of Policy and Government Relations Russ Martin
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) thanks the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) for conducting ongoing research to better understand the prevalence of distracted driving and its role in traffic crashes. IIHS’ study validates what all drivers see every day: the pervasive use of wireless devices behind the wheel. Further, additional national data supports the finding that rather than making voice calls, more drivers are now manipulating smartphones to text, use apps or access the Internet.
IIHS found that the though the nature of distracted driving has changed between 2014 and 2018, the overall incidence has remained the same, suggesting that the traffic safety community needs to do more to address this issue, including changing social norms, strengthening and enforcing distracted driving laws and improving data collection. We should also harness technology as part of the solution to the problem it has provoked by promoting tools like smartphone apps and settings that block incoming wireless communications while driving.
GHSA is proud to partner with AT&T on the “It Can Wait” campaign, which, in addition to having amassed pledges from more than 35 million people committing to drive without distraction, is joining forces with state highway safety offices and hosting educational events nationwide to change the culture surrounding distracted driving. To learn more, visit ghsa.org/resources/partner-initiatives/ICW.
As we push toward zero roadway fatalities, today’s announcement is a reminder that there is much more work to be done.
Released: January 24, 2019
Contact: Madison Forker, 202-580-7930