While driving deaths fell in 2020 – which makes sense given that we were stuck at home for most of the year – there was one category of dangerous driving that actually increased: distracted driving.
Although people drove less, an analysis by MoneyGeek found a 12% increase in the number of fatalities attributed to distracted driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3,142 people were killed in accidents caused by distracted driving in 2020.
NHTSA defines distracted driving as “any activity that diverts attention” while sitting behind the wheel. It includes eating, talking and messing with your GPS. But the organization says texting and driving is the most “alarming” form of distracted driving because it removes your eyes from the road for several seconds at a time.
“Sending or reading a text removes your eyes from the road for five seconds. At 55 mph, it’s like driving on an entire football field with your eyes closed,” explains NHTSA.
MoneyGeek analyzed NHTSA’s data on distracted driving to find out which states have the biggest problem with it. They also looked at data on highway consumption from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics to determine how much distracted driving happens per day. driven kilometers so that the largest states do not just end up in all the top positions.
MoneyGeek found that these states had the highest mortality from distracted driving:
- New mexico
- New Jersey
The best places for distracted driving, with the fewest related fatalities, were:
- Rhode Island
- Washington DC
- West Virginia
- South Dakota
Rhode Island, which tops the list of best states, saw only four deaths related to distracted driving in 2020. Meanwhile, New Mexico experienced 276 related deaths.
You can see where your state ranks on MoneyGeek’s full analysis.
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