We all know distracted driving is a problem. But are drivers getting worse or getting better about looking at their phones in the car? Let’s look at some data and compare 2021 vs 2022.
Using a Phone While Driving
A 2021 Aceable survey in found that 68% of people use their phones while driving. This stayed the same in 2022: our survey this year also found that 68% of people use their phones occasionally, often, or every time they drive.
While it’s definitely not great that more than half of drivers are using a phone in the car, the good news is that it hasn’t gotten worse, year over year!
Honk If You’re Driving Distracted
Our survey found that 62% of drivers who admitted to using their phone in the car have been honked at by another driver because they failed to go when the light changed. That’s an 89% increase from 2021.
Are people looking at their phones more at stoplights, or are drivers just more likely to honk than last year? Either way, one thing is clear: we all need to stop texting at red lights.
Drivers Are More Distracted
Even though the same percentage of drivers will admit to using their phones while driving this year as last year, we are more distracted than ever. Of the people who use their phones while driving, 75% said they’re more distracted in 2022 than 2021. That’s a 167% increase in the number of people who said they were more distracted than in the previous year.
Life only gets busier, and unfortunately, that seems to translate into more people being distracted while driving.
What’s Making Us So Distracted?
You probably already know the answer to this question: 53% of people who use a cell phone while driving say the phone makes them more distracted. How could it not? It’s full of distractions!
But we’re not just checking our phones for fun. Our survey found that 65% of people check their phones while driving because they’re worried about missing something important, and 89% of those people are worried about missing something work-related. That’s a 242% increase in people checking their phones for work reasons since 2021.
And even though most (83%) of people lived in areas where there are laws against using a cell phone in the car, 58% of people have a compulsion to check their phones even though it puts them at risk. That’s an increase of 49% since we asked the same question last year.
Even worse, 78% of respondents said their driving-while-using-the-phone habits are so entrenched that a law wouldn’t change their behavior (a 225% increase from 2021).
We Know It’s Not Good
While our survey found distracted driving numbers are steady or rising across the board, at least drivers are aware that it’s a problem. Of the people who use their phones behind the wheel, 76% said they spend too much time on the phone in the car (an increase of 111% from 2021’s numbers).
Additionally, 63% say they need to cut down on using their phone while driving, an increase of 43% since 2021.
So What Will Move the Needle?
How do we reverse this trend? Only 39% of people said they’d put down the phone if their licenses were suspended, a 33% decrease since 2021.
So what does work? Taking our drivers ed course is a great way to make sure you don't fall in the bad habit of distracted driving. In fact, our survey found that 47% of people who changed their driving habits in 2022 did so because of a defensive driving course.
Beyond that, the answer is simple, but painful: Put away or turn off your phone. Sometimes the truth hurts! Here some of easy ways to keep distractions low.