Watch out for Zoom Zombies on the road!

New technologies are increasingly distracting and tiring motorists.

More than one out of two motorists who participated in a video conference before driving could suffer from concentration problems. These "Zoom Zombies" are of concern because they can present a danger for other road users.

According to a study published by American insurer Root Insurance, 54% of Americans who drive after participating in a video chat may have difficulty concentrating. These individuals have been nicknamed "Zoom Zombies," after the famous video conferencing application. The phenomenon has been growing steadily for the past year as home working has taken off around the world.

Unsurprisingly, this internet addiction has even made its way into cars. Among Americans who drive with a mobile device nearby, nearly two-thirds (64%) check their notifications, of all kinds, at least once while driving -- not without consequences for their safety and the safety of others. The frequency with which they do this is also increasing. Fifty-three percent check their phone at least once every 30 minutes and 25% once every quarter of an hour.

Americans' reliance on technology has increased dramatically in recent years, which has also translated into them being increasingly distracted in their vehicles. Unfortunately, many are comfortable with this type of distraction. For example, 30% of drivers think they can be safe on the road even when using their cell phone, a proportion that rises to 50% among the youngest drivers -- Generation Z.

The study was conducted online by Wakefield Research for Root Insurance between March 12 and March 17, 2021 among 1,819 U.S. motorists ages 18 and older.

David Bénard