Distracted driving has been a concern for law enforcement and a danger to motorists since the dawn of mobile devices. Unfortunately, despite a steady stream of public service announcements and countless other efforts to curb the behavior (it's National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, after all), the situation only appears to be worsening.

Data from Zendrive Research's latest Distracted Driving Behavior Report indicates that Americans are using their smartphones nearly every single time they get behind the wheel. Of the 570 million trips the firm analyzed over a three-month period, drivers used their phones while driving 88 percent of the time.

During an hour-long trip, drivers spent an average of 3.5 minutes using their phones. That may not sound like much but when you consider that a distraction of just a couple of seconds is all that's needed to increase the likelihood of crashing by more than 20-fold, the issue becomes a lot more apparent.

According to Zendrive, 3.5 minutes of distracted driving is the equivalent of 105 opportunities an hour to cause a fatal accident.

The South is by far the worst offender as Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama and Arkansas are among the top five most distracted states (the other is Vermont) based on duration.

Zendrive analyzed data from 3.1 million drivers between December 2016 and February 2017 covering 5.6 billion miles nationwide.

Image courtesy Distracted Driver Accidents