Distracted driving

Road Risk Alert: Distracted driving rises by 7.5% on Dad’s Day

June 6, 2024
Father's Day Road Risk

As families fire up the grill and gather to celebrate Dad, distracted driving ignites road risk on Father’s Day. According to the National Retail Federation, Father’s Day is a top day for outings. 52% of people have brunch or dinner with their father and nearly one-third gift dad a sporting event or concert experience.

More family gatherings, and the coordination surrounding them, can contribute to higher rates of distracted driving. CMT’s data reveals that Father’s Day is the fifth most distracted day of the year, following Mother’s Day, New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

Distracted driving hour-by-hour on Father's Day

Father’s Day morning sees an increase 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, including tapping, scrolling, and typing.

In 2023, distracted driving escalated throughout the morning from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. on Father’s Day compared to other Sundays in June and July. The rise in screen interaction starts early, with a 5.9% difference at 7:00 a.m. Distraction climbs to 9.6% at 8:00 a.m. and peaks an hour later at 9:00 a.m., reaching 10%. This marks an 18-second-per-hour increase in screen interactions compared to the average Sunday.

While screen time surges in the early morning hours on Father’s Day, distraction remains high through the night until 8:00 pm.

So just how much does distraction increase on Father’s Day? A whopping 7.5%. On Father’s Day, drivers spend 2 minutes and 24 seconds per hour interacting with their phone screens while driving — a 10-second per hour increase in distraction from the surrounding days.

CMT sees similar distraction trends on Father’s Day and Mother’s Day. People are using their phones while getting their family ready to spend the day with their parents. However, Father’s Day occurs during the summer months, a time with higher levels of distracted driving overall.

In 2022, Father’s Day ranked alongside Mother’s Day as the second most distracted day observed over the past four years. Drivers spent an average of 2 minutes and 36 seconds per hour on their screens.

The effects of increased distracted driving on Father’s Day are serious. CMT estimates the 7.5% increase in distracted driving has contributed to around 1,000 additional crashes, 570 injuries, 5 fatalities, and $40.3 million in economic damage.

Let’s celebrate Dad safely

Understanding the holidays with elevated road risk help us all be more vigilant, so we can all travel safer. Whether heading to the golf course or a family BBQ, let’s prioritze road safety to ensure a safe and enjoyable holiday for everyone.