Car Accidents Increase 12.3 Percent with the Rise of the Always-Connected Mobile Workforce, Finds New Motus Distracted Driving Report

The Average Mobile Worker Drives 1,200 Distracted Miles Every Year

BOSTON, Mass., September 20, 2018Motus, the premier vehicle management and reimbursement platform, today unveiled new research around the rising trend of distracted driving in the mobile workforce. The “2018 Distracted Driving Report” found that as smartphone ownership has increased across an ever-growing mobile workforce, there has been a disturbing parallel in rising accident rates. Specifically, the report found that as smartphone ownership skyrocketed from 55 percent in 2013 to 77 percent in 2017, the number of accidents escalated from 5.7 million to 6.4 million, an increase of 12.3 percent.

Drawing on its data, captured across the world’s largest retained pool of drivers, Motus calculated that mobile workers drive more frequently than the average American – taking 49 percent more trips behind the wheel than any other type of employee. Based on these numbers, Motus estimates that the average mobile worker travels about 1,200 distracted miles every year.

“Distractions such as eating, handling navigation or music controls and phone calls have been pulling drivers’ focus from the road for years,” said Ken Robinson, market research analyst for Motus. “However, we’ve discovered a clear correlation between increased smartphone ownership across the mobile workforce and the number of total accidents over the last five years. Between 2014 and 2016, for example, there were substantial spikes in both smartphone ownership and car accidents that involved property damage, injuries or fatalities.”

The report also found that when employees are in crashes, employers pay a high price. Beyond medical costs and property damage, employers also incur lost work days, crash-related legal expenses and lost productivity after a car crash involving an employee. Motus estimates that each year this costs employers about $4,400 per grey fleet mobile worker, the people who drive a personally-owned vehicle for business purposes. In addition, crashes led to 1.65 million lost work days in 2017.

“Distracted driving is a big problem on today’s roads, but it doesn’t have to stay that way,” said Craig Powell, CEO of Motus. “Businesses can take steps to improve the safety of their mobile workforce by helping mobile workers develop the skills they need to improve their driving skills and avoid risky behaviors. With Motus, businesses have reduced collision rates by an average of 35 percent using the proactive assessments, individualized training modules, motor vehicle record checks and insurance verification offered through our Driver Safety Solutions.”

Additional findings in the 2018 Distracted Driving Report include:

  • While phone use during morning and evening commutes is common, phone use while driving is at its highest from 2-4 p.m., when the mobile workforce is on the move.
  • Phone distraction costs employers about $1,680 per grey fleet mobile worker.
  • Americans drove a total of 107 billion phone-distracted miles in 2017, indicating that phone-related distraction is a growing problem beyond the mobile workforce.

To access the full report, please visit here. More information about Motus Driver Safety Solutions can also be found here.

The Author


Motus is the definitive leader in solutions for businesses with mobile-enabled workers and fleets of any size. The Motus technology platform simplifies both mileage and mobile device reimbursement with proprietary software that calculates personalized and compliant reimbursements for each employee while improving employee productivity and reducing the overall costs of mobility. The company’s deep insights, captured across the world’s largest retained pool of drivers, also underpins the annual Internal Revenue Service (IRS) business mileage standard, the amount an individual can deduct for business vehicle expenses. For more information please visit or connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn.

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