Madison,
02
August
2018
|
04:45 PM
America/Chicago

Distracted driving is an accident waiting to happen

Summary

Reserach indicates that the rate of distracted and drugged driving is rising. 

Cars built today are safer than ever.

But technology can’t save us from the poor choices some drivers make.

Eight in 10 drivers surveyed by AAA said texting or emailing while driving is a serious safety threat.

Yet four in 10 said they do it anyway. This video shows what happens to your brain when you’re distracted while driving.

“Newer and more accurate data sources are telling us distracted driving is extremely prevalent, perhaps many times higher than previously thought,” says Brandon Pike, enterprise strategy research analyst at American Family.

Telematics provider Zendrive analyzed 100 billion miles of driving behavior data and estimates 69 million drivers use their phones every day while driving.

At any given hour, they estimate 40 percent of drivers use their phone at least once.

Drugged driving is now a reality

Recent data indicate marijuana legalization and the opioid crisis are contributing to an increase in auto accident frequency.

A Highway Loss Data Institute study found auto-collision claim frequencies in three of our operating states where recreational marijuana is legal – Colorado, Oregon and Washington – are about 3 percent higher overall than would have been expected without legalization.

Compounding the issue is there aren’t uniform standards (i.e. breathalyzer testing) for determining when a driver is under the influence of drugs.

The opioid crisis is also contributing to increased instances of drugged driving.

“As an industry, we’re trying to raise the level of awareness about distracted and drugged driving and help people understand the risks,” says Steve Micksch, enterprise strategy research manager. “We continue to monitor these trends and how they impact American Family and our customers.”

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About American Family Insurance

Madison, Wisconsin-based American Family Insurance group is the nation's 13th-largest property/casualty insurance group and ranks No. 311 on the Fortune 500 list. The company sells American Family-brand products, including auto, homeowners, life, business and farm/ranch insurance, primarily through its exclusive agents in 19 states. American Family affiliates (The General and Homesite) also provide options for consumers who want to manage their insurance matters directly over the internet or by phone. Web www.amfam.com; Facebook www.facebook.com/amfam; Twitter www.twitter.com/amfam.