News | Distracted Driving

Distracted Driving Now Scarier Than Drunk Driving, Based on Survey from Cambridge Mobile Telematics

55 percent of drivers identified distracted driving as their highest concern about other drivers on the road, compared to 16 percent who said drunk driving
February 15, 2018

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Distracted driving has overtaken drunk driving as consumers’ top safety concern on the road — leaving governments, insurers and parents in search of a cure. A recent Cambridge Mobile Telematics’ (CMT) survey of more than 700 drivers revealed 63 percent of respondents are more afraid of distracted drivers on the road than they are of intoxicated drivers (37 percent). Furthermore, despite concern over the rise in distracted driving, CMT’s survey findings show that current laws are not motivating consumers to curb this risky behavior and address the crisis.

CMT’s research found that 75 percent of drivers see other drivers using their phones while driving every single day, with 45 percent seeing phone distractions on the road multiple times per day.

“These numbers illustrate the severity of the distracted driving epidemic, and highlight the urgent need for a new approach that combats distracted driving through technology and consumer incentives to motivate behavior modification,” said Sam Madden, co-founder and chief scientist at Cambridge Mobile Telematics.

When asked about reducing phone use while driving, respondents said laws against cellphone use provided the least incentive (39 percent). Drivers are more likely to be motivated by receiving discounts from insurance providers (79 percent) or being given rewards like gift cards or promotions (59 percent).

“Smartphone telematics technologies enable the monitoring and reporting of risky driving behavior, including the use of a phone while driving,” said Madden. “As a result, while smartphones may be part of the distracted driving problem, they are also part of the solution.”

Other key survey findings include:

  • If driving habits and performance were shared with family and friends, 60 percent of drivers would be motivated to improve safe driving habits.
  • Phone calls (32 percent), text messages (30 percent) and navigation (27 percent) were among the top distractors of drivers surveyed, surpassed only by other passengers (44 percent).

While many auto insurers and drivers are leveraging smartphone-based telematics programs to provide drive-by-drive feedback, reduce distraction and improve road safety, nationwide adoption is in its early stages. Analysis of users of CMT’s telematics program, DriveWell, found drivers showed an average of 35 percent reduction in phone distraction within 30 days of enrollment.

To learn more about the new driving epidemic, download the 2017 Cambridge Mobile Telematics infographic:

About Cambridge Mobile Telematics

Cambridge Mobile Telematics (CMT) makes roads and drivers safer around the world. Founded in 2010 by two MIT professors and experienced entrepreneurs, CMT pioneered telematics for behavior-based insurance (BBI) and deployed the first solution to provide both traditional vehicle-centric UBI and BBI. With over 30 customers in 16 countries, CMT has a proven record of changing driver behavior: an average reduction of 35 percent in phone distraction, 20 percent in hard braking, and 20 percent in at-risk speeding all within less than 30 days of using the program. For more information, please visit and follow on Twitter @cmtelematics.


Corporate Ink for Cambridge Mobile Telematics
Amber Lynum, +1 617-969-9192