At Least in California, We aren’t the Worst!
As you can imagine, the insurance industry is all about numbers. They have these crazy smart people called actuaries that are bordering on genius as well as program managers that love to conduct studies of every type imaginable.
The latest study shows that despite the facts and knowledge that we’ve attained over the past few years as well as the education campaigns, people still have really bad habits while driving, especially cell phone usage (92 percent). Across the nation, drivers earned a cumulative grade of C.
Midwesterners have been found to be the safest drivers while those from the Northeast have been found to be the worst. It’s a refreshing change that California is not among the worst states of bad drivers.
So what are the factors that drivers across the U.S. are doing that lead to low driving grades?
Speeding – I’m afraid that I am guilty of this one. Women have been found to speed slightly more than men though men speed more when on a trip.
Cell Phone Usage – Despite new laws against the use of cell phones while driving, they are still used 38% of the time. I would argue that the percentage is higher in California simply based on my own observations. California initiated a no cell phone use law at the beginning of 2017. If you are holding a cell phone for any reason while driving or even stopped at a light, you can be ticketed. Male drivers have been found to use cell phone while driving 10% less than women.
Risky Acceleration – The gals win on this one as men are 11% more likely to display risky acceleration habits.
Hard Braking – This is oftentimes a byproduct of risky acceleration. People stomp the gas pedal only to find themselves stomping on the brake soon after. The study shows that people living in the southern states of the country are most likely to stomp on their brakes.
Hard Turns – Driving experience plays a big role in how well drivers make turns. Women make hard turns 13% less than men but teen drivers are well above the average for making hard turns. The percentage of young drivers making hard and reckless turns decreases dramatically at the age of 21.
So what does this all mean? It seems that despite all of the proof that we’ve accumulated over the years regarding the causes of accidents and motor vehicle deaths, people still take the attitude that the numbers don’t pertain to them. They feel that they are above average drivers who can get away with bad driving habits.
Men seem to be more aggressive on the road than women but women seem to be more social as evidenced by the increased cell phone usage. And of course, young drivers are more likely to be sub-standard drivers due to a lack of driving experience plus many will do dumb things to impress their friends. Be safe out there!