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New study finds West Virginia drivers make the most abrupt turns

Most of us are aware that distracted driving and other unsafe driving behaviors can have tragic consequences. Despite this awareness, many drivers across the nation continue to behave negligently behind the wheel, sometimes causing devastating car accidents. EverDrive, a safe-driving app created by EverQuote, recently released a safe driving report revealing new information regarding driver behavior. The report compiled EverDrive user data collected during 2.7 million road trips.

Overall, drivers in America received an average safety rating of 79 out of 100. Midwest drivers received the highest driver rating of 83 out of 100, making them the safest drivers in America. The most unsafe drivers were in the Northeast, with a 75 out of 100 rating.

As far as driving habits, the most common unsafe behavior is speeding. Phone use, hard braking, hard turns and risky acceleration are also common unsafe driving habits. Abrupt turns, a sign of distracted driving, occurs most often in West Virginia.

On a good note, a number of states have found that distracted driving laws have reduced unsafe driving behaviors. In 2012, West Virginia banned cell phone use behind the wheel and has reported a lower road fatality rate as a result.

Distracted driving is increasing as a result of new technology, but there are also other factors that play a role in car accidents. Teenagers, who are known for being the most dangerous drivers, are driving more than ever before. This, combined with increased speed limits, can increase the likelihood of severe accidents. Rural roads, which are common in West Virginia, are proving to be more dangerous than other roads with only two lanes and higher speed limits. While these other factors may play a role in accidents, stopping distracted driving should be our focus to make roadways safer.

Source: PBS NewsHour, "Where are the nation's worst drivers? This data may hold the answer," Time Henderson, April 13, 2017

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