The good news from the latest ZenDrive study is that 71 percent of drivers on the road in the USA drive safely. The bad news is that the remaining 29 percent are phone addicts, frustrated lead-footers and speed demons.
ZenDrive makes software for fleet operators that uses smartphones to monitor how people drive; when we looked at it last year a big question was whether people drive more carefully, knowing they are being monitored. Nonetheless, the fact that 29 percent of the driving population is willing to drive like this knowing that they are being monitored is pretty remarkable.
Zendrive monitored 2.3 million drivers over 5.6 billion miles of driving, and their CEO tells Bloomberg that the results are not pretty.
“Without decisive action and a lot of education, it will be difficult to see the trend reverse,” said Zendrive co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Matus. “We’re just starting, and I feel like it’s still an uphill battle.”
If you are worried about being hit, you had best not live in in the South, where the worst drivers apparently concentrate- the red indicates the top ten states with the highest concentration of high-risk personas. The green are the bottom ten states with the lowest risk. The states with the most phone addicts are Louisiana and Mississippi; The worst for lead-footed drivers who accelerate and brake aggressively are California and New York State. The worst speed demons are in Wyoming and South Dakota.
Actually, those results are not surprising; California and New York are crowded and people get frustrated. Wyoming and South Dakota are big and the roads are empty.
Interestingly, bans on using phones had just a bit of impact.
State bans on drivers’ use of handheld phones has a slightly positive impact on the percent of phone addicts. Zendrive found that the average percent of phone addicts is 10.3% for states with a phone ban and 12.1% for states with no phone ban. Income is also positively correlated with the percent of phone addicts, with a 24% correlation between percent of phone addicts in a particular state and Per Capita Income.
Meanwhile, in California and New York State, where there are all those aggressive lead-footed drivers, people are pushing for laws regulating so-called distracted walking. But as the Zendrive study shows, we have bigger problems in our roads.