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Lead-Footed, Phone-Shackled U.S. Drivers Earn a ‘C’ for Safe Driving

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Lead-Footed, Phone-Shackled U.S. Drivers Earn a ‘C’ for Safe Driving

Most of us can’t resist the siren song of the smartphone when we’re behind the wheel. But a new report concludes that speeding is our most dangerous driving habit.

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Lead-Footed, Phone-Shackled U.S. Drivers Earn a ‘C’ for Safe Driving

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Most of us can’t resist the siren song of the smartphone when we’re behind the wheel. But a new report concludes that speeding is our most dangerous driving habit.

Crunching 230 million miles of driving data from its EverDrive app, the online insurance marketplace EverQuote found that over 36 percent of all trips involved driving 10 miles per hour over the speed limit.

Phone use occurred in 38 percent of drives. While drivers used their phones more frequently than they exceeded the speed limit, EverQuote’s metrics ranked speeding as the most dangerous driving habit because speeding typically lasts longer during each drive.

Overall, EverQuote’s 2017 Safe Driving Report, which ranks each habit from a low of 1 to a high of 100, indicated that U.S. drivers received an average safe-driving rate of 79, classifying them as “C” students if the grades were test scores.

The EverDrive app uses technology built into phones to measure and rank driving habits such as speed, use of the phone while driving, hard braking, hard turns and risky acceleration.

Additional findings of the EverQuote 2017 Safe Driving Report show:

  • Midwesterners are the safest drivers. Drivers in Midwestern states have the highest safe-driving rating (83), compared to the West (82), South (80) and Northeast (75).
  • Northeasterners are heavy on the gas pedal. Drivers in the Northeast clocked in at speeds above the legal limit on nearly half of all trips taken (48 percent), while those in the South recorded speeding rates on 37 percent of their trips. Meanwhile, Midwesterners only exceeded the speed limit during about one in three trips (30 percent).
  • Drivers in the South can’t put down their phones. Southerners have the highest phone-use rate while driving, with 41 percent of all trips taken involving use of a phone. The rest of the country uses their phone slightly more than a third of the time while driving. Midwesterners use their phone on 37 percent of drives; those in the Northeast picked up their device on 35 percent of drives, while those in the West average a phone-use rate of 34 percent when driving.
  • Men and women share similar driving habits. On average, female drivers are slightly safer drivers than men, scoring an average safety rating of 78, compared to men’s average score of 77.
  • Drivers under 21 have a similar safe-driving rating as drivers over 21. Drivers up to the age of 21 received an overall safe-driving rating of 74, compared to drivers age 21 and older, who received a 78 safe-driving rating.

“We hope this data sheds light on actual driving habits versus people’s perception of their driving skills,” said Seth Birnbaum, CEO of EverQuote. “Our goal is to empower drivers to use their scores to improve their driving skills and ultimately make the roads safer for themselves and the 214 million drivers on the roads across the U.S.”

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