New Arity Study Highlights Latest Distracted Driving Risks and Biggest Misconceptions

While 1 in 4 drivers admit to being involved in distracted driving accidents, many fail to understand how they contribute to the problem

CHICAGO, April 11, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Arity, the technology company founded by The Allstate Corporation, today released findings from its Distracted Driving Report, which shows that drivers significantly underestimate their risk from phone use behind the wheel. With April designated as Distracted Driving Awareness Month, it is especially important to acknowledge the major risk that this behavior poses as drivers become more reliant on mobile devices. Alarmingly, research has found that texting while driving increases a driver’s risk of an accident by 23 times.

Arity’s report finds that 80 percent of respondents consider themselves safe drivers, while one in four reported being in an accident caused by distracted driving. Additionally, the frequency of this dangerous behavior is higher with younger drivers. In fact, nearly two-thirds of young drivers age 18-24 are engaging in phone use like texting, watching videos and reading while driving, according to the report.

Ninety-three percent of drivers have noticed others texting while driving, yet only 42 percent admit to doing it themselves. While 90 percent of drivers admit that texting, watching videos and reading while driving is extremely distracting, they are not aware of how often they engage in this behavior. Meanwhile, the findings suggest that distracted driving laws need greater enforcement, with only three percent of drivers having been issued tickets for using a phone while driving.

“Distracted driving is an issue across all facets of the transportation industry,” said Gary Hallgren, Arity president. “Everyone from insurance providers to vehicle manufacturers to rideshare companies has a stake in creating a more effective solution for drivers to be aware of their own distracted driving habits and help deter them from this dangerous behavior. Our report shows that drivers care about solving this problem. They recognize it as dangerous in others, but they need to be empowered with the right tools to take control of their safety.”

Consumers are already taking steps to avoid distractions while driving. Sixty-six percent prepare for their trips by setting up navigation ahead of time, and 62 percent look up directions before their journeys. Fifty-five percent of drivers only use their phones during emergency situations. These findings show that drivers do care about limiting their distractions; however, they may not have the applications necessary to do so. New technology and greater awareness will be key to helping drivers stay safe and distraction-free on the road.

By providing more solutions to help drivers understand their level of distraction and by rewarding safe driving habits, the transportation industry can ultimately help to lower fatalities as a result of distracted driving. Earlier this year, Arity introduced a new feature producing the industry’s first ever Driving Score based on distracted driver behavior. Arity’s algorithm analyzes drivers’ physical on-the-road mobile phone usage and corresponding claims data to help both insurers and drivers fully understand the risks and costs of distracted driving. Insurers can utilize these insights to motivate and reward customers for more focused driving habits, thereby providing a strong incentive for safe driving. The tool can also help to educate drivers by showing them exactly how often they use their phones behind the wheel. By combining metric-driven awareness and positive incentives, this data can help make drivers smarter and roads safer for everyone.

The Distracted Driving Report is based on an Arity-commissioned online survey conducted by Murphy Research of more than 2,000 drivers in February 2018. The questionnaire screened candidates based on how far and how often they drove, as well as whether they owned a cell phone.

About Arity
Arity is a technology company focused on making transportation smarter, safer, and more useful for everyone. It transforms large amounts of data into actionable insights to help partners better predict risk and make smarter decisions in real time. The Arity platform was built on more than 30 billion miles of historical driving data with more than a million active telematics connections and over 7 years of data directly from cars. Arity was founded by The Allstate Corporation in 2016 and has offices in Northern Ireland, India and Chicago’s Merchandise Mart.

Stacy Silver