Distracted driving

Distracted driving alert: Is Mother’s Day brunch causing more distracted driving?

May 2, 2024

Mother’s Day in the US is all about celebrating the amazing moms in our lives, frequently with flowers and brunch. But more driving activity during breakfast and brunch may be increasing distracted driving levels.

The National Restaurant Association reports that Mother’s Day is the busiest day of the year for restaurants. 10% of people take mom out for breakfast, 25% for brunch, 45% for lunch, and 47% for dinner.

Surges in social activities, involving planning and communication, can result in more distracted driving. CMT’s data reveals that Mother’s Day is one of the most distracted days of the year, ranking fourth behind New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.


Mother’s Day morning, specifically, sees a rise in screen interaction. CMT defines screen interaction as when a driver taps on their phone’s screen while the vehicle is traveling over 9 mph.

In 2023, there was a 11.9% surge in distraction from 5:00 a.m. through 9:00 a.m. on Mother’s Day compared to other Sundays in April and May. The high rate of screen interaction starts early, with a 11.1% difference at 5:00 a.m. The gap climbs to 12.5% at 7:00 a.m. and peaks two hours later at 9:00 a.m., reaching 17.9%. This marks a 21-second-per-hour increase in screen interactions compared to the average Sunday.

Despite the early morning peak, distracted driving remains high through the early evening. From 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., during lunch and early dinner times, distraction is 6% higher on Mother’s Day. After 5:00 p.m., distraction falls to typical Sunday levels.

When looking at the days one month around Mother’s Day, from 2020 through 2023, the increase in distraction is striking. Around Mother’s Day, drivers spend 2 minutes and 12 seconds interacting with their phone. On average, on Mother’s Day, drivers spend 2 minutes and 24 seconds on their phone — a 9% surge in distracted driving on Mother’s Day.

Unfortunately, elevated distraction on Mother’s Day is consistent year over year. In 2022, Mother’s Day was the second most distracted day in the past four years, when drivers spent 2 minutes and 36 seconds interacting with their phones.

The consequences of distracted driving on Mother’s Day are serious. CMT estimates the 9% distraction surge has caused an additional 1,200 crashes, 680 injuries, 6 fatalities, and $48.1 million in economic damage.

Travel safe no matter how you celebrate mom

By recognizing the causes of increased risky driving during holidays, drivers can focus on improving their behaviors behind the wheel and make the roads safer for everyone. Whether you brunch, lunch, or celebrate mom in another way, remember to do your planning and coordination before you get behind the wheel.