Parents Are Hardly Better Than Teens with Distracted Driving, Study Finds

New Study from Life360 Finds Teens Only Six Percent More Likely to Use Their Phones While Driving Than Parents; Miami Drivers Are the Most Distracted

SAN FRANCISCO--()--Life360, the leading location sharing app that protects and connects families, today released the largest U.S. distracted driving study to date, identifying which people, states and cities have the most and least distracted driving. Leveraging its unrivaled location technology and largest source of driving data in the world, Life360 analyzed the driving behavior of over six million individuals across the country. Most notably, finding that teens are only six percent more likely to use their phones while driving than their parents.

The “Heads Up, Phones Down: Distracted Driving Intervention” report, which looked at a total of 45 billion miles driven by Life360 users, is the largest distracted driving survey to date. Distracted drivers -- as measured by significant interactions with a phone's screen while driving a vehicle -- were found to be four times more likely to speed and 40 percent more likely to hard break than those who were not distracted.

Overall, the West Coast had less distracted driving than the East Coast. At the state level the report found:

  • New Jersey drivers are the most distracted, using a phone an estimated once every 4.7 miles. New Jersey was also one of the states with the highest number of crashes per mile driven.
  • Wyoming drivers are the least distracted, using a phone an estimated once every seven miles

When comparing cities and metros, the report found:

  • Miami drivers are the most distracted, using a phone once every four miles. The metro also had the highest crashes per mile driven.
  • Denver drivers are the least distracted, using a phone once every 6.25 miles.

Not only are parents nearly as bad as their teens when it comes to distracted driving, but Liberty Mutual Insurance and SADD (2016) found that 50 percent of parents have knowingly texted their teen while they are driving, and 29 percent of parents expect a response before their teen reaches their destination.

“As parents, we give teens a hard time about being on their phones while driving, but we aren’t much better,” said Chris Hulls, CEO and co-founder at Life360. “Parents need to be better role models for their kids and can begin by making the necessary changes to their own driving habits. We can save thousands of lives that are lost each year due to distracting driving as a result.”

The report offers actionable “TIPS” for improving distracted driving behaviors that families can implement:

  • Tell” friends and family before they get behind the wheel so they don’t text or call.
  • Ignore” incoming messages.
  • Pull Over” if responding is a must.
  • Stash” the phone in the glove compartment while driving.

Accidents still happen, which is why Life360’s crash detection and emergency response system will automatically detect when a car accident occurs and contact first responders and emergency family contacts in real-time. This is a feature of Life360’s premium service Driver Protect, which allows parents to keep an eye on their families while on the road, by providing detailed reviews on driving habits such as rapid acceleration and phone usage.

You can find more information and resources, and see if your state made the list here. To learn more or sign up for Driver Protect, simply open the Premium menu in the Life360 App (available on iTunes or Google Play).

About Life360

Life360 helps protect and connect families by offering intelligent location sharing, coordination, and driving safety features. As the largest source of family driving data in the world, Life360 develops features that leverage advanced smartphone sensor tech to do things like driver monitoring, crash detection, and provide emergency response. Founded in 2008, Life360 has raised $76M in venture capital and is headquartered in San Francisco. For more information, visit


For Life360
Carla Nicasio, 646-779-0223


For Life360
Carla Nicasio, 646-779-0223