Study: Most Unsafe Drivers Reside in Northeast

Drivers in the Northeast tend to speed the most, while also using their cell phones, according to EverQuote, an online insurance marketplace in the U.S. EverQuote announced the findings from its 2017 Safe Driving Report, a study that provides a state-by-state safe driving analysis of EverDrive driving data collected from cell phones. The data derive from more than 20 million vehicle trips and 230 million miles driven, EverQuote said.

Drivers in states located in the West and Midwest most closely adhere to driving laws, coming in as the safest drivers in the nation, the company said.

“It’s clear that driving behavior differs significantly by region, but unfortunately cell phone use in each state remains unacceptably high,” said Seth Birnbaum, CEO of EverQuote. “It’s our hope that as more people monitor their own driving habits, everyone in the country will be able to improve their skills. Our goal is for the data to shed light on regional differences, empowering those in every state to be alert to the common bad habits and avoid costly and dangerous accidents.”

Data were collected between April 6, 2016, and March 6, 2017, the company said in an April 27 news release. An EverDrive app derives measurements from several components in phones, including: GPS, accelerometer, device screen on/off and gyroscope. The app measures and ranks driving skills, from 0 to 100, based on the following factors:

Speeding—a speeding event is recorded if the vehicle’s speed exceeds the estimated safe speed of the road.

Phone Use—a phone use event is recorded if the screen is on and unlocked; if the phone is being moved in a way that indicates it is in a person’s hand; and if the vehicle is moving faster than a minimum speed.

Acceleration/Braking—these events are flagged when the longitudinal acceleration of the vehicle exceeds a certain threshold, over a sufficiently long period.

Turning—hard turning events are flagged when the lateral acceleration of the vehicle exceeds a certain threshold, over a sufficiently long period.

Best Driving States:
1. Montana – overall safe driving score of 90
2. Wyoming – overall safe driving score of 89
3. Alaska – overall safe driving score of 88
4. South Dakota – overall safe driving score of 87
5. North Dakota – overall safe driving score of 87

Worst Driving States:
50. Rhode Island – overall safe driving score of 70
49. Connecticut – overall safe driving score of 71
48. Pennsylvania – overall safe driving score of 73
47. New Jersey – overall safe driving score of 73
46. New Hampshire – overall safe driving score of 74

Additional findings of the EverQuote 2017 Safe Driving Report show:

  • Drivers in Montana ranked highest. Those behind the wheel in the Treasure State most closely follow the rules of the road, with an overall safe driving score of 90. While cell phone rate of more than a third of the time (35%) is consistent with other states, speeding only occurred on 17% of drives, while hard turns and risky acceleration occurred on 10% of drives.
  • Rhode Islanders ranked the lowest. Drivers in the Ocean State had the overall worst driving score, coming in with a safe driving score of 70. Drivers in the state sped on more than half of all trips taken (57%), used a phone on 38% of trips and went hard on the brake during 29% of trips.
  • Driving scores differ by region. Drivers in the Midwest have the best safe driving rating with a score of 83, compared to the West with a score of 82, the South with a score of 80, and the Northeast with a score of 75.

Best Overall Performing State by Region:

      • Northeast – Vermont with an overall score of 87.
      • South – Arkansas and Oklahoma are tied at 83.
      • West – Montana with an overall score of 90.
      • Midwest – North Dakota and South Dakota are tied at 87.
  • Ruckus on the road: Dangerous driver behavior in the Northeast includes speeding on nearly half of all trips taken (46%), and using the phone on more than a third of trips (35%).
  • How did drivers rank by metro regions? Those in Pittsburgh and New York City tied for last with a score of 71, while Minneapolis/St Paul led the rankings with an overall score of 85. Portland, Oregon, came in second-best with a score of 84, and St. Louis drivers, third best in the country with a score of 82.
  • Best and Worst States –
    • Phone Use – Vermont drivers used their cell phones 27% of trips while in Mississippi, a state that has strict laws prohibiting texting and social networking while driving, drivers used their cell phones 46% of trips.
    • Speeding – Those driving in Montana sped on 17% of trips while Rhode Island drivers sped on more than half of all trips (57%).
    • Risky Acceleration – Montana drivers had risky acceleration on 10% of trips while Californians put the pedal to the metal and experienced risky acceleration on 28% of trips.
    • Hard Braking – People behind the wheel in North Dakota took it easy and experienced hard braking on 14% of trips while Californians slammed on the brakes 41% of trips.
    • Hard Turning – Mainers took it easy on the hard turning with 8% of trips while West Virginia drivers took hard turns 26% of trips.

Founded in 2011, EverQuote, Inc.’s data and technology platform unites drivers with agents and carriers to deliver rates and coverage while aiming to maximize policies sold for insurance providers. EverQuote, Cambridge, Mass., was founded with the vision of applying a scientific, data-driven approach to help consumers find the best price and coverage for their individual insurance needs while driving down costs for insurance providers.

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