Car Culture

Safe driving app says these are motorists' worst habits

EverDrive says we need to lay off the phone and slow down.

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A new report by the folks behind the EverDrive app reaffirms that Americans need to get off their phones while they drive.

The EverDrive app uses the sensors inside your phone -- such as GPS, accelerometer, gyroscope and even whether the screen is on or off -- to determine your driving habits. The app collected 781 million miles' worth of driving data in 2017 and the trends that the company discovered are both interesting and a little concerning.

Speeding is America's biggest driving vice, according to data by EverDrive.

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First, the biggest unsafe driving habit Americans have is speeding. We just can't seem to get enough of that hot, nasty speed in our daily diets and as such, we speed on 38 percent of trips for around 8 percent of those trips. Drivers in the Northeast are, somewhat surprisingly, the most egregious speeders, with fully 48 percent of them putting the loud-flap to the burlap.

The next most unsafe habit we have is, of course, being on our phones. This was only just behind speeding, with 37 percent of us using our devices an average of 11 percent of our trips, despite all but two states in the US having phone-use laws on the books. Shame on us. 

Age, as you'd expect, has a significant influence on phone use while driving. Drivers aged 18-20 are 47 percent more likely to use their phones while driving than older drivers, who average 38 percent. Drivers 17 and under are only slightly less guilty than the old-enough-to-vote, not-old-enough-to-drink crowd at 43 percent.

A shocking 37 percent of drivers accessing their phones during a trip.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Another interesting tidbit is that men and women aren't dramatically different in their unsafe driving habits. Men are slightly more guilty of speeding, while women use their phones a little more, but the discrepancy is less than 5 percent for both. Women brake hard on more trips, while men are a little more aggressive with the steering wheel, turning hard on more trips.

From a regional standpoint, folks in the Midwest are the safest drivers. Congratulations. Drivers in the Northeast are the least safe, while people in the South are most likely to use their phones while driving. We were more than a little shocked to see the West region (which includes California) not even break into the top five for worst driving. The best drivers are in relatively unpopulated states like Alaska, Idaho, South Dakota and Wyoming. That doesn't seem like a coincidence at all.

Overall, this data tells us that Americans could do with a little more discipline behind the wheel and maybe better driver training. Keep in mind, of course, that this data was generated by an app, so the population is self-selecting, though it's enlightening nonetheless.