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When it comes to distracted driving in the United States, things seem to be only getting worse.

A recent study by ZenDrive, a company that analyzes driver behavior using phone sensors and provides insights on that data, recently analyzed 100 billion driver miles. The results of that study are telling: Distracted driving is a bigger problem than most people realize. And it’s much more common than government statistics reveal.

  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that 660,000 drivers use their phones while driving every day in the U.S.
  • ZenDrive’s study estimates that 69 million U.S. drivers use their phones daily while driving.

Other interesting findings include:

  • 40 percent of drivers use their phones in any given hour in the U.S.
  • For every hour behind the wheel, drivers spend 1 minute, 52 seconds using their phones
  • The majority of phone use while driving occurs during the first 5 minutes of a trip
  • Drivers use their phones while driving more on holidays (Christmas, New Year’s Eve, etc.)
  • Distracted driving got worse in every state from 2017 to 2018 except for one — Vermont

Where do Washington drivers rank?

ZenDrive analyzed driving behavior of drivers across the U.S. They rated drivers by state – from most distracted to least distracted.

The most distracted states were Mississippi, Rhode Island, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Connecticut.

The least distracted states were Oregon, Montana, Washington, Wyoming, and North Dakota.

Washington drivers are among the least distracted drivers in the U.S., but Washington still has a distracted driving problem. Even though Washington drivers do not engage in distracted driving as much as most of the other states, distracted driving got worse here from 2017 to 2018.

Distracted driving is extremely dangerous and causes thousands of accidents a year. Drivers should make every effort to avoid distracted driving by using their phones before driving, pulling over to use their phones, and putting the phone out of reach while driving. These efforts are important not only for the driver – but for all other drivers and passengers on the road.