More attentive driving is a small win in tackling traffic deaths

New data shows distracted driving in the U.S. fell by 4.5% in 2023—its first decline since 2020. This offers some hope in addressing the nation’s awful traffic safety record, and it may have contributed to a 3.5% drop in traffic deaths that year. But distracted driving is just a small piece of the puzzle and should not keep transportation professionals from addressing the root causes of our safety crisis.

These new data on distracted driving come from Cambridge Mobile Telematics (CMT), which relies on mobile apps that track phone use, speeding, hard breaking or acceleration, and other risky behaviors…

The report notes that the time an average driver spent interacting with their phone while driving dropped from 132 seconds per hour in 2022 to 126 in 2023 (-4.5%) and the time that phones were in motion dropped by 12.5%.

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