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80% of Drivers Admit to Using a Mobile Device While Driving

Friday Aug 10, 2018
80% of Drivers Admit to Using a Mobile Device While Driving
  (Source:Root Insurance Co.)

Root Insurance asked 2,000 ordinary Americans about decisions they make behind the wheel every day. "Root for Safety," a survey about distracted driving conducted by the Harris Poll, yielded illuminating (and a little bit scary) results.

Why did Root Insurance conduct a survey?

The claims team at Root looks at data every day about claims (that is, the aggregate information collected about how many people submitted a claim and for what -- totaled car, new windshield or bumper, hospital visits, and so on). They analyze remarkable data about the frequency, severity, and cause of accidents -- put simply, they're not just interested in counting accidents but in figuring but how they happen. If this team can better understand how accidents happen, they can help more people avoid them.

Since accident data can only reveal so much, Root decided to commission a survey and ask real people about their level of distraction in the car. People were asked what kinds of activities they do while driving, what causes them to be most distracted, and if they've experienced consequences from distracted driving behaviors.

Let's be frank -- the numbers aren't pretty. People are using their phones a lot while they drive. Here are some of the results of the "Root for Safety" distracted driving survey.

  • 80% of drivers admit to using a mobile device while driving.
  • Nearly 60% of drivers believe it is acceptable to use a mobile device while at a complete stop.
  • One third of drivers (32%) say texting on a mobile device is one of the biggest distractions to them when they're driving.
  • Nearly 25% of Americans use social media while driving.
  • 20% of Americans can't go more than 30 minutes without checking their phone while driving.
  • 10% of American men admitted to online shopping while driving.

    To say the Root team was surprised by the results would be untrue; they're drivers, too, and therefore know how challenging it is to maintain undistracted driving. These results aren't shared to shame anyone -- rather, Root is exploring ways to fix this big problem that affects us all. Accidents caused by distracted driving are preventable, and there are concrete ways to retrain ourselves to become undistractable while we drive.

    Any good news?

    Yes. Here's another stat from Root's survey:

  • Nearly 70% of drivers would drive more cautiously if they knew it would guarantee a lower insurance rate.

    At Root, folks who drive cautiously receive lower rates. The technology within the Root app detects those good driving habits. So Root's excited by the prospect that fundamentally fair insurance based primarily on driving behavior could make roads safer for all of us.

    If you're already a great, undistracted driver, or if the prospect of lower rates will make you drive more cautiously, download the Root app to get a rate based on how you actually drive.


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