Distracted driving is an undeniable hazard; in 2022, roughly 2,109 drivers aged 15 to 20 were killed in car crashes involving a distracted driver, marking a significant rise from the 1,885 drivers within the same age group who were fatally injured in the preceding year.

Zutobi Drivers Ed pulled together numbers to get a better picture of the causes of distracted driving and the states where it’s the worst.

The most common driver distractions include other passengers in the vehicle, using a cell phone, adjusting audio or climate controls, eating or drinking, smoking and daydreaming. One of the worst, of course, is texting while driving.

Young woman looking at her smartphone while driving a car. Distracted driver
Goads Agency

Texting is considered the most alarming distraction. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for five seconds, which at 55 mph is like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.

New Jersey is the third worst for distracted driving, according the report, following No. 1 New Mexico and No. 2 Kansas.

Gender and age both play a role; men are nearly three times as likely to be involved in a fatal distracted driving accident compared to women. Male drivers were distracted in 2,201 fatal crashes in 2022, whereas women drivers were only distracted in 844 fatal crashes during the same period. In addition, about 20 percent of distracted drivers were between the ages of 15 and 24.

Every 10% increase in distracted driving costs Americans an estimated $4 billion annually.

Distracted driver. Female hand changing radio station in her car

LOOK: Most dangerous states to drive in

Stacker used the Federal Highway Administration's 2020 Highway Statistics report to rank states by the fatalities per billion miles traveled. 

Gallery Credit: Katherine Gallagher

Offbeat adventures: Travel to the coolest hidden wonders in every U.S. state

Fuel your offbeat travel dreams. Stacker found the coolest hidden wonders in all 50 U.S. states (plus D.C.) using data from Atlas Obscura.

[WARNING: Under no circumstances should you enter private or abandoned property. By doing so you risk bodily harm and/or prosecution for trespassing.]

Gallery Credit: Sandi Hemmerlein

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle only.

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