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Zendrive’s 6 Driver Personas Help Identify Risk of Collisions

Laura Thomas May 7, 2018

Behaviors of millions of drivers across the United States were evaluated by Zendrive this year. These behaviors were broken down into six different driver personas, three of which were labeled as high risk for motor vehicle collisions. Which bucket do you fall into? It’s time to find out.

We will start with the three less risky behaviors: neighborhood navigators, expert commuters, and weekend cruisers. Luckily, 71% of drivers fall into one of these groups.

Neighborhood navigators occupy 29% of the group. This group spends half as many miles driving on the highways as average drivers do. This group also scored below the national average in terms of time spent using the phone, time spent speeding, and percentage of time driven at night. The state with the most neighborhood navigators was identified as Idaho.

The next highest group of low risk drivers were the expert commuters, which comprise 26% of drivers in the study. The group exhibits relatively safe driving habits, even when spending double the amount of time on the highway as average drivers. Maryland and Delaware were found to have the most expert commuters.

Lastly for the low risk category are the weekend cruisers. This group makes up 16% of the studied drivers. It may be obvious, but this group spends much more time driving on weekends than average drivers. Despite this, the group takes a slightly smaller number of trips than average drivers. Several states showed high concentrations of this particular driver persona, including Vermont and Michigan.

High risk behaviors are obviously more concerning, as people are much more likely to get into a wreck if they fall into these behavioral personas. The major factors in these types of driving habits involve higher rates of speed and cell phone usage.

The first high risk persona is the phone addict category. This group comprises 12% of the drivers studied and these individuals spend over three times more on their phone than average drivers. Their tendency to accelerate and decelerate quickly also is higher than average drivers. One might think that recent bans and increased legislation on cell phone usage while driving might have made an impact on collisions resulting from cell phones. However, the average percent of phone addicts is just over 10% for states with phone bans, while that number changes just slightly to 12% in states without phone bans. Household income was also found to be linked to the phone addict persona, as the higher per capita income in a state- the more phone addicts in that state. The two states with the largest concentrations of phone addicts were Louisiana and Mississippi.

For the second highest group of high risk drivers, frustrated lead-footers make up 9% of the population evaluated. This group of drivers is nearly 3 times more aggressive with acceleration and deceleration. The highest concentrated states for this group are California and New York.

The smallest grouping of high risk drivers is the speed demons, which makes up the remaining 8% of the population studied. This group speeds over 75 miles per hour nearly 6 times more than average drivers. The percentage of miles driven on a highway is also higher for this particular persona. Speed demons are more likely to get into dangerous collisions and the two states with the highest concentrations of speed demons are Wyoming and South Dakota. State speed limits play a huge role in keeping the number of speed demons reduced. In states with speed limits exceeding 75 miles per hour, the weighted average percentage of speed demons was 22%, while this slims down to only 5.3% in states with speed limits under 75 miles per hour.

Those who have continually commuted for years or use side streets to navigate their journeys, appear to be much less likely to face motor vehicle accidents. So if you find yourself frequently glancing down at your phone to read texts or pushing the pedal to the metal to get through those yellow traffic lights, it’s time to rethink your driving habits to reduce your chances of causing personal injury to yourself or others.

Injury attorneys will look for evidence of these behaviors when determining fault for injuries from a motor vehicle collision. In certain situations, evidence of cell phone use leading to a wreck can be grounds for awarding injured party punitive damages to punish the other driver for dangerous conduct. The injury attorneys at Biesterveld & Crook subpoena cell phone records of negligent drivers to find evidence of cell phone use.

For more information on the 6 Driving Personas, and to view the entire study, visit Zendrive’s website.