Distracted driving

Road Risk Alert: Easter Sunday in the U.S. sees a 7.1% jump in distracted driving

March 21, 2024

Easter Sunday in the U.S. is a day of family gatherings and chocolate bunnies. But it also brings a sharp increase in distracted driving and speeding.

Easter morning, in particular, sees an uptick in screen interaction. In 2023, there was a surge of distraction from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. compared to other Sundays, rising 8.3%, a 9-second-per-hour increase. This higher rate of screen interaction carries throughout the morning. This elevated distraction activity is likely due to increased social interactions as people go to holiday gatherings and Easter egg hunts. Screen interaction levels normalize after 12:00 p.m.

CMT defines screen interaction as when a driver taps on their phone’s screen while the vehicle is traveling over 9 mph.

Beyond being a holiday full of family gatherings, Easter, obviously, also falls on a Sunday, which sees the highest levels of screen interaction during the week, according to CMT’s research. To ensure we measured the impact of Easter and not just Sundays, we compared Easter screen interaction to the two Sundays before and after the holiday. We found that Easter sees a 1.9% increase compared to other Spring Sundays.

The difference compared to other days around Easter is more pronounced. On an average day around Easter, drivers spend 2 minutes and 11 seconds per hour interacting with their phones. On Easter Sunday, distracted driving jumps to 2 minutes and 21 seconds, a 7.1% increase.

Since 2020, Easter Sunday has been one of the most distracted days for drivers. Out of the top 20 most distracted days over the past four years, Easter is two of them: Easter 2020 and Easter 2022.

The surge in distracted driving on Easter has severe and deadly outcomes. Since 2020, we estimate the 7.1% average increase in distracted driving has caused an additional 950 crashes, 530 injuries, 4 fatalities, and $37.9 million in economic damages.

Easter doesn’t only see elevated levels of distraction. It also sees a significant rise in speeding. Easter Sunday sees a 39% rise in speeding, with drivers averaging 3 minutes and 57 seconds of speeding per hour.

Staying safe on the roads this Easter Sunday

By understanding the reasons behind these spikes in risky driving behaviors, drivers can take proactive steps to mitigate risks and ensure a safer holiday for everyone on the road. So, while you’re keeping an eye out for the Easter Bunny, remember to put your phone down and just drive.