Study: Majority of Distracted Drivers Lost in Thought

While the dangers of texting and driving get a lot of headlines, you might be surprised at the findings of a new study by Erie Insurance that show daydreaming behind the wheel is even more dangerous.

Erie’s analysis found that 62 percent of distracted drivers involved in fatal car crashes were described by police as daydreaming or “lost in thought†.

The police report data analyzed by Erie in the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) reveal that of the more than 65,000 people killed in car crashes over the past two years, one in 10 were in crashes where at least one of the drivers was distracted.

Erie did  point out  that because FARS data on distraction is based largely on police officers’ judgment at the time of the crash, and because some people may be reluctant to admit they were distracted when being interviewed by police after a fatal car crash, the numbers are difficult to verify and may, in fact, under-represent the seriousness and prevalence of driving distractions.

As well as daydreaming, police listed several more specific types of distractions.  Below are the  top 10 distractions involved in fatal car crashes:

One thought on “Study: Majority of Distracted Drivers Lost in Thought”

  1. That is an interesting study Claire.

    I do wonder however how much the figures are skewed by the fact that it is based on police officers judgement?

    Daydreaming is NOT something that someone is going to be charged for. But using a phone, or eating something and not having all your hands on the wheel are.

    It just doesn’t seem very plausible that “Daydreaming” scores 62%, but “Eating and Drinking” only 2%.

    Come on. That just doesn’t sound realistic to me.

    I tend to suspect these numbers also have a psychological element. A Police Officer asks what happened at an accident. What would you say?

    The truth, I was stuffing my face with three doughnuts and reached down to pick up a big Slurpee. Or, i must have daydreamed for a moment?

    Interesting. But not sure how much I would really read into the accuracy of these numbers.

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