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April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Using a cellphone while driving is risky, and studies show that your risk of having a collision increases when you text and drive. However, cellphones aren’t the only things that can distract you in your vehicle. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says distracted driving is any activity that could divert your attention from driving. Those distractions may include adjusting the radio, eating, reading, grooming and talking with other passengers. 

Did you know that:

  • Distracted driving claimed the lives of 3,142 people in 2019 – accounting for 8.5% of all motor vehicle deaths in the U.S.
  • Teen and young adult drivers may be the highest risk group for distracted driving, but older adults are also using their phones while driving with increasing frequency. 
  • To help combat the alarming number of accidents involving distracted driving, 24 states have hand-held phone bans, 48 states restrict texting while driving, and 37 states prohibit cell phone use for young drivers.
  • Automakers have introduced crash avoidance technology and hands-free infotainment systems, along with other advances. While these systems were intended to decrease the dangers of distracted driving, in some cases, they have had the opposite effect

Studies also show that drivers who text and drive may be riskier behind the wheel in other aspects of driving too. In an on-road study, drivers who reported frequent cellphone use drove faster, changed lanes more often and made more hard braking maneuvers than drivers who said they rarely used their phones while driving. Using your cellphone while driving can also slow your ability to process information quickly because drivers usually divert their eyes away from the road to dial or use their phones. 

The state of Georgia bans the use of handling cellphones or texting while driving. 


Content contributed by American Agricultural Insurance Company and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and Highway Loss Data Institute