A recent study by TrueMotion, a company which has a created several driving safety apps, revealed that there is a 33% jump in distracted driving between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.
“People travel to see loved ones during the holidays. As they’re driving, they want to provide updates on where they are,” said Mark Fiorentino, Director of Marketing at TrueMotion. However, people who are simply commuting to and from work are less likely to send updates on when they expect to arrive.
The National Safety Council issued a sobering estimate for the long Thanksgiving weekend this year: 433 people would die and an additional 49,400 would be seriously injured in car crashes. The final tally isn’t in for this Thanksgiving, but the NSC says that three years ago 355 people died on New Year’s Day and 273 on Christmas Day. About a third of those who died had been drinking alcohol.
The tragedy of those statistics makes the TrueMotion projection of a 33% increase in distracted driving a cautionary one. The data doesn’t come from a projection or estimate, but rather from the smartphones of 3,000 drivers who had downloaded the TrueMotion app before the survey period between November 18, 2017 year and January 3, 2018.
Despite its popularity, text messaging while driving is banned in 47 states and 16 states prohibit handheld cellphone use while driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that in 2016, the most recent year for which data is available, 3,450 people were killed and 391,000 injured in crashes involving distracted drivers.
Everyone wants a holiday to remember, but not for the wrong reasons. Let’s keep our holiday gatherings out of the emergency room. What’s the best way to do that? Stay off the phone while driving.