Generally speaking, drivers face many risks of becoming distracted while on the road. So, ignoring or removing those distractions, where possible, is the best way to stay safe. With new technology emerging all the time, the concern around distracted driving is more prominent than ever before, which is why getting good car insurance is so important. For instance, Statista found that as many as 74% of US drivers have spoken on a mobile phone at least once before while driving.1
This made us want to delve deeper into people’s driving habits, to help raise awareness of the different hazards every driver should be cautious of. So, we polled Americans and Australians to find out if they had ever been in an accident caused by distracted driving. We conducted two separate surveys consisting of 1,000 respondents, 750 from the USA and 250 from Australia.
We also looked into the reasons why people become so distracted while driving, how much the damage has cost them, and what model of the car they were driving at the time.
Four in five drivers in the US were involved in distracted driving accidents
When it comes to American drivers, our research found that, shockingly, four in five (81%) of US drivers have been involved in a car accident due to distracted driving.
As many as 59% of Americans admitted they’ve been involved in, or injured in a car accident because of distracted driving. This proves how much of an impact this can have on motorists on the road, and how these distractions need combatting to improve overall safety while driving.
Over 2/5 of Americans said the weather was the most distracting factor
When asked which distractions led to incidents and accidents on the road, American drivers claimed weather conditions played the biggest part of all, at a startling 41%. This was followed by eating or drinking (33%), plus, 32% of people stated that dealing with children or pets was the third most distracting factor.
Americans driving a Honda Civic were most at risk of distracted driving
When referring to a specific car model, the Honda Civic ranked most likely for being involved in American car accidents caused by distractions when driving, at 8%. Next came the Toyota Camry (7%) and the Toyota Corolla (7%).
However, the highest percentage of all was motorists driving cars other than those listed in our survey, with 31% of drivers stating ‘other’ when involved in a car accident caused by distractions. This means cars outside of the car list we provided are, clearly, more at risk of disrupting drivers’ attention, leading to a collision or road accident.
13% of US drivers also stated that their vehicle had been written off, due to a distracted driving incident. Not to mention, the average damage to a vehicle in the States was a whopping $1,505.02 when relating to distracted driving.
Smart technology plays a part in distracting US drivers
When asked if smart technology has affected or unaffected drivers’ attention on the road, US motorists said they felt their attention has been hindered by technology systems while behind the wheel (21%). Perhaps then, further attention is needed when a driver first gets their car, so they can become more used to the advanced technology it’s equipped with, such as car sensors, reverse cameras, the Satnav and in-car music systems.
Nearly half of Australian drivers were in an accident caused by distracted driving
Australian drivers were also quick to admit that distracted driving has led to a vehicle accident, due to themselves or another driver, with nearly half of the respondents stating so (45%).
62% of Australian drivers claimed they had been in a collision or car accident due to a distraction, but out of those, no one was injured. It was only 18% of Australians that stated distracted driving led to an accident with notable injuries. It’s still worth noting, though, that 79% of Australian drivers had been involved in a collision to begin with, which is cause for concern. This brings the need to reduce distractions a priority for drivers.
Weather conditions also distracted Australian drivers the most
As natural as it is, it seems varying weather conditions are the major reason for distracted driving amongst Australians, with 42% of drivers stating so. After the weather came the distractions of dealing with children or pets (35%), having other passengers in the car (30%), and eating or drinking while driving (26%).
This was followed by an outside object, person or event, at 23%. It appears, then, that Australians are most distracted by other people and pets, more than anything else, after weather conditions.
Australians think smart technology contributes to distracted driving
It seems new technology in cars, such as a Satnav, reverse cameras and sensors, may be handy at times, but Australian drivers felt they distract them too easily. As, 23% of respondents admitted their attention has been hindered by technology systems while driving.
The car models posing the most distractions in Australia
It seems the highest percentage of cars involved in road accidents, caused by distracted driving, weren’t any of the car models listed for respondents. The highest amount was 44% for ‘other’ cars that weren’t mentioned in the survey, so clearly, the models we listed weren’t as distracting as some others on the market.
Otherwise, the Toyota Camry was the car model most involved in distracted driving accidents, at 10%, followed by the Toyota Corolla (9%) and Mazda CX-5 (5%). The average damage caused to AU drivers’ cars was a startling $1,279.93, with 21% of drivers claiming their vehicle has been written off as a result of distracted driving accidents.