2018 Travelers Risk Index Highlights Misperceptions about Distracted Driving

The Travelers Companies, Inc., has announced the results of the first release of the 2018 Travelers Risk Index, which focuses on distracted driving and perception of risks among drivers and passengers. Consistent with previous years, an overwhelming majority of people surveyed said that distracted driving is a concern. Eighty-five percent said it is extremely risky to use smartphones or tablets while driving, yet nearly a quarter of respondents said they do it.

The Travelers Risk Index also found:

·       About one in 10 respondents reported being frequently distracted by technology while driving.

·       61% of those who respond to personal texts, emails, and telephone calls while driving do so because there might be an emergency.

·       23% of those who said they respond to personal texts, emails, and telephone calls while driving do so because they are afraid of missing out on something important.

·       25% of people indicate they multitask when driving because they think they can do so safely.

·       Only 12% of respondents said they use safety features like “auto-reply” and “do not disturb while driving” despite the fact that they are available on many phones.

“These survey results are very telling,” said Joan Woodward, executive vice president, public policy, and president of the Travelers Institute. “There’s clearly a disconnect between drivers’ perception of what is safe and the reality of what is happening on our roads. Lives are being lost to distracted driving–related collisions, and we created the Every Second Matters initiative to help change perceptions about this problem so people start taking it seriously.”

When the Travelers Risk Index findings are compared with data from TrueMotion’s smartphone telematics apps that monitor actual driving behaviors, including distraction, the results show that nearly 40% of drivers are distracted for an average of 15 minutes per hour driven. This further demonstrates the misperceptions about distracted driving.

“The first step to changing behaviors is being aware of them,” said TrueMotion CEO Ted Gramer. “The Travelers Risk Index highlights that drivers are categorizing distraction as ‘someone else’s problem’ when they are the ones who are actually engaging in highly risky behavior. Awareness programs like Every Second Matters and digital programs designed to reward safe driving, powered by smartphone telematics platforms like TrueMotion, are critically important, as they take a proactive approach to curbing this deadly epidemic.”

For more information about distracted driving risks and how to stay safe behind the wheel, visit the Travelers Prepare & Prevent website.