Drivers In The South Are More Likely to be Distracted

Drivers in the south are most likely to use their cellphone at the wheel, according to a comprehensive new driving study that includes distracted driving.

However, Virginia is not listed as one of the worst states for distracted driving. That unwelcome distinction goes to drivers in Florida, Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Drivers in these states use their phones on 43 to 48 percent of their trips, according to the Everquote data. In Virginia, drivers use their phones on about 40 percent of trips.

The report found Midwesterners are the safest drivers, those in the north east are most likely to speed, and southern drivers are more likely to be using their phone, reported the Huffington Post.

The study found drivers under the age of 21 are 15 percent more likely to use their phones at the wheel. Male drivers are about 10 percent less likely to get on their phone while driving than female drivers.

The southern states are worst for distracted driving

Distracted driving is more prevalent in the south

Southern drivers are also more likely to brake hard, posing a danger to other road users.

Everquote is an online insurance marketplace. It pulled together its report based on the regional driving habits gathered during 2.7 million car trips over 230 million miles by users of its Everdrive app.

Mississippi had the worst distracted driving record. Drivers in the southern state use their phones, either for talking or texting, on almost half their outings.

State laws may explain some trends. Very few Southern states have sweeping laws that ban the use of cellphones while driving, although most ban texting.

Urban planning methods may also impact highway safety. Traffic analysts say states that developed after World War II are more hazardous to pedestrians because their roads were built around the motor car, according to Peter Norton, a technology historian at the University of Virginia.

It could explain why so many pedestrians lose their lives in Florida. Orlando is one of the most dangerous cities for pedestrians in the nation. As well as talking on their phone at the wheel, Floridians have a high share of elderly drivers.

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. See our infographic detailing the leading causes of distracted driving.

While the growth of smartphone technology is linked to an increasing number of automobile accidents, other types of distracted driving include children and pets, grooming and simply being lost in thought.

If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, please call us at (757) 455-0077.

Griff O'Hanlon

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