People text and use apps while behind the wheel over 30% more during the winter holidays as compared with an average weekday, according to data collected and analyzed by TrueMotion, a smartphone telematics company.
TrueMotion collects driving data using smartphone telematics and analyzes it with machine-learning algorithms.
From Nov. 18, 2017 to Jan. 3, the company collected and evaluated data from over 3,000 drivers in the U.S. who had downloaded and used TrueMotion's safety app. The findings indicate that motorists have more to be concerned about on the roadways at holiday time than just snow — distracted drivers could be an even greater danger.
While on an average weekday drivers spend approximately 9% of their time actively using their phones — texting, emailing, using social media — that figure jumps to 12% during the holidays, representing an increase of 33%.
Active phone use while driving was up nearly 50% on Thanksgiving compared to a typical weekday. Christmas saw the second highest increase with 33%. New Year's Eve was the lowest of the group, with a 26% bump.
The findings also showed that motorists tend to speed during the holidays as a well. While drivers speed approximately 25% of time on an average weekday, the app indicated they speed a whopping 45% of the time during the holidays.
Thanksgiving ranks first with drivers speeding 52% more compared to a regular weekday, followed by Christmas (44% more) and New Year's Day (40% more).
One positive finding: Despite texting and speeding more often during the holidays, drivers made fewer phone calls — whether handheld or hands-free — from behind the wheel. Compared to the average weekday, holiday road calls were down 45%.