PressNewsStudiesDangerous Distractions

Dangerous Distractions

Service & Contacts

Allianz Group Communications
Koeniginstr. 28
80802 Munich

Contact overview

Receive the latest Allianz news.


Follow Allianz in the social networks:


  • Contact

  • Newsletter

  • Social Media

When it comes to road safety, in-car technology is proving to be more dangerous than alcohol in many countries as it distracts drivers from keeping a careful eye on the road, finds an Allianz study...

Allianz SE
Munich, Feb 09, 2018

Allianz-in-car technology can be distracting when driving

Alcohol has long been considered one of the most dangerous causes of impairment to the fitness of drivers, but distractions by technology, including smartphones and satellite navigation systems, are now proving to be a greater risk. Some 74 percent of drivers admit to being distracted while driving.

A new study by the Allianz Center for Technology (AZT) shows that the risk of an accident drastically increases when drivers switch attention from road traffic to the technology within their reach. The study highlights a statistical correlation between higher accident rates and the use of information, communication and entertainment functions on offer within cars.

For example, 60 percent of drivers who have had accidents in the past three years report using their mobile phone while driving. Just 37 percent of drivers who did not have an accident reported doing so.

"This is not really a surprise," says Jochen Haug, Head of Claims at Allianz Germany. "The more diverse the technology and the more complex its operation, the more it will distract the driver from monitoring the traffic."


Allianz-distraction can be fatal when driving

As bad as alcohol

According to experts, every tenth traffic accident with fatalities is due to driver distraction. In 2016, more than 3,200 people died on German roads – 256 of them because one of the accident victims was drunk. Significantly more people (about 350) were killed by accidents involving distractions.

Until the 1970s, it was acceptable for a driver to have several glasses of wine and still drive, notes Haug. More than 20,000 people died on the roads in 1970 and the government responded by introducing speed limits on country roads and a maximum blood alcohol level of 0.8 in 1971. “Attitudes to alcohol changed: It is no longer socially acceptable to drink and drive. We need to adopt the same attitude when it comes to smartphone use behind the wheel of a moving vehicle,” Haug says. “Our study is clear, using a smartphone while driving puts human lives at risk."

According to the survey, almost every second driver commits cellphone-related violations while driving. Three-quarters of the survey respondents admitted to being regularly distracted by built-in technology in the vehicle, while 39 percent said they manually operated the navigation system while driving.

One in four drivers said they read text messages while driving and 15 percent said they responded to messages. It was more prevalent in drivers aged up to 24 years: up to 27 percent read messages and 23 percent responded while driving.

The results correspond to international findings. A 2015 report of 1,211 drivers in the United States found that nearly 60 percent of respondents had read or written a cellphone message while driving, within the prior month. A strong correlation was found between the results and crash rates.

Furthermore, motor vehicle collisions are responsible for nearly a quarter of all deaths among teens and young adults (aged 15-24 years) in the U.S. More than a third (36 percent) of all distracted drivers involved in fatal crashes were aged 15-29, according to 2015 statistics from the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Action required

AZT has long campaigned for distraction to be included as a cause in official accident statistics and for road traffic regulations to reflect the current state of communication techniques. The German government recently extended the definition of smartphones to include tablets and similar devices.

Allianz is also advocating additional measures, such as disabling navigation entry or internet access via onboard menus while driving. Certain advanced driver assistance systems, namely emergency brake assists, can help with avoiding or reducing the impact of distraction induced accidents.

  Forward Looking Statement disclaimer

As with all content published on this site, these statements are subject to our Forward Looking Statement disclaimer:


  Press contact

Christian Weishuber
Allianz Deutschland
Phone: +49 89 3800 18169

Send email

  More at

California Wildfires 2018: Reign of Fire

Allianz-California Wildfires 2018: Reign of Fire
Aug 14, 2018 | Allianz SE

Wildfires in California have burnt through 820,000 acres so far this year. As the U.S. state battles the blaze, is it time to accept that bigger and more frequent wildfires are the new normal?


Allianz reports strong results for 2Q 2018 and confirms full-year outlook

Allianz-Allianz reports strong results for 2Q 2018 and confirms full-year outlook
Aug 03, 2018 | Allianz SE

After a successful start into 2018, Allianz Group continued to achieve good performance in the second quarter. Indicators remained close to or exceeded the second-quarter 2017 levels, despite burdens from geopolitical instabilities and currency fluctuations. 


Allianz World Run 2018: Run Lola Run

Allianz-Allianz World Run 2018: Run Lola Run
Jul 31, 2018 | Allianz SE

Pull up your socks and dust off those shoes. The Allianz World Run 2018 has begun and you’re invited to be a part of the fun run to good health.Over the past two years of the Allianz World Run, more than 22,000 Allianz employees from 55 countries ran 2.75 million kilometers, each year smashing the record for the “longest cumulative distance run by one team in 90 days”. This time around, the event has been opened to everyone as Allianz aims to inspire more people to get moving.