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  • Dean Smith

Distracted Driving Trends IIHS 2018 Wrap-up

According to Insurance Journal, distracted driving has increased from previous years, and the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) conducted new research in 2018, and part of that research was to determine the types of distracted behaviors on the roads.

“IIHS stationed observers at 12 locations across four Northern Virginia communities, on straight stretches of roads, at signalized intersections and at roundabouts in March 2018,” according to Insurance Journal. The March 2018 survey documented approximately 12,000 drivers in the morning, afternoon and evening during the week. Furthermore, “researchers noted if drivers were engaging in one or more of 12 visible secondary behaviors while moving or stopped at red lights.”

Approximately 23% of surveyed drivers were distracted by one or more of the following behaviors:

Talking on hand-held cellphone

Manipulating hand-held cellphone (excludes looking at phone in mount)

Simply holding hand-held cellphone (i.e. not obviously manipulating or talking)

Wearing Bluetooth earpiece or headset with mic

Wearing headphones or ear buds

Manipulating in-vehicle system (touching radio, climate control, touchscreen display or other controls; excludes operating stalks or buttons on steering wheel)

Manipulating or holding mobile electronic device other than cellphone

Talking or singing

Eating or drinking



Other (reaching for object, reading print material, adjusting sun visor, putting on glasses, holding another object)

It is clear that although operating cell phones have dominated what we consider to be distracted driving and rightfully so, other activities such as taking a sip of your coffee or a bite of your breakfast sandwich, even talking to your children or other vehicle occupants, have an impact on our attention to the road. Stay safe!

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