United States — According to a website that serves as an aggregator, search engine, and comparison site for cell phone plans, Iowa is right in the middle of the pack when it comes to distracted driving.
The site whistleout.com says they identified the most distracted and least distracted U.S. states based on fatalities data, as well as data concerning the percentage of time drivers were observed using their phones while driving.
The safest state when it comes to distracted driving appears to be Arkansas. The site says that’s interesting since Arkansas has only enacted a partial handheld phone ban. Handheld phone use is only forbidden in work and school zones in Arkansas, although text messaging is always banned. Trailing Arkansas are New York, Alaska, Pennsylvania, and Indiana as the top five least distracted states.
But be careful if you travel to New Mexico. Apparently that state’s drivers are the most distracted — at least according to whistleout.com.
Iowa ranks right in the middle of the pack at number 25 out of the 50 states. Interestingly, neighboring South Dakota is ranked sixth-best, but North Dakota is seventh WORST. Missouri isn’t much better, ranking as 9th most distracted. Minnesota ranks similarly to Iowa as 20th least distracted. Wisconsin is 27th. Illinois, home to the largest city in the region, Chicago, is interestingly about the best in the region as 12th least distracted. Nebraska is pretty similar at 15th least distracted.
The site whistleout.com says that to come up with this ranking, they took into account the National Highway Traffic Safety Association’s distracted driving fatalities data, as well as Zendrive’s 2018 and 2019 Distracted Driving Studies showing the percentage of time drivers were observed using their phones while distracted. At the time the article was written, the information obtained from both NHTSA and Zendrive was the most recent data available.
Area law enforcement agencies remind all drivers to put down their phones when they drive. If you need help ignoring your phone, you can put it in a special signal-proof bag or turn off notifications and the ringer and put it out of your reach before you start driving.