Press release

Root Insurance Study Reveals America’s Blind Spots behind the Wheel

Sponsored by Businesswire

, the nation’s only auto insurance company to discount
insurance rates for drivers who avoid using their phones behind the
wheel, today launched the results of their second annual distracted
driving study, conducted online by Wakefield Research. The study reveals
that nearly half of drivers surveyed (47%) cite distracted driving on
the road as their top concern when driving, presenting a national issue
for road safety.

“Using a mobile device while driving has become second nature. As Root’s
study confirms, too many drivers don’t think twice about this behavior,
even when they should,” said Root Insurance’s Director of Data Science
for Telematics, Joe Plattenburg. “The number of distractions are
increasing, and so is the need for companies and drivers to find new
ways to encourage focused driving.”

Drivers know using their phone while driving is wrong but still do it
anyway. Drivers admit to spending an average of 13 minutes a day—or 91
minutes a week—using their devices while driving. Additionally, nearly 2
in 5 drivers (38%) who check their mobile devices while driving do not
even put their phones down when they see law enforcement.

Almost all drivers (99%) point to phones as being among the top three
distractions while driving. Distractions that are most likely to turn
their attention away from the road and to their phone include:

  • Group chats, such as a text or an email chain with multiple people
  • Social media, such as memes or newsfeed (33%)
  • Streaming video, such as a show or movie trailer (18%)

Despite their own behavior, those surveyed remain intolerant of
distracted driving by others. An overwhelming majority of drivers (89%)
would give an Uber/Lyft driver a bad rating for texting while driving,
while 39% admit they’ve done that themselves. Meanwhile, nearly all
drivers (90%) believe they are better behind the wheel than Uber/Lyft

Unrelated to mobile phone use, the study also found other unsafe
activities are taking place on U.S. roads and highways. Nearly 3 in 10
drivers (29%) don’t even keep their hands on the wheel, admitting they
have steered with a different body part, such as a knee or chin.

Additional activities include:

  • Grooming while driving, doing their hair/makeup or shaving (18%)
  • Playing with a pet (13%)
  • Changing clothes (12%)

This study follows Root’s 2019
Focused Driving Report
, released earlier this month to better
understand the severity of distracted driving. Based on real behavioral
data, the report found that Gen Z drivers (18-24-year-olds) used their
mobile devices while driving 20 times per 100 miles driven.
Additionally, the report reveals the most and least focused drivers by
state, city, and car make.

“Root’s mission is to help drivers make better decisions on the road,
and the industry standard fear tactics are clearly not working,” said
Root Co-Founder and CEO Alex Timm. “We’ve heard from policyholders that
when we incentivize our drivers with a lower insurance rate, they are
more motivated to stay focused on the roads and not their mobile

Last year Root launched their Focused
Driving Discount
, a new pricing incentive to curb distracted
driving. With their model, drivers who avoid mobile phone use while
driving can save up to an additional 10 percent on their insurance quote.

About Root:

Root Insurance is the nation’s first licensed insurance carrier powered
entirely by mobile and founded on the principle that car insurance rates
should be based on how you drive, not who you are. Through smartphone
technology and data science, Root measures driving behavior and uses it
as the primary factor in determining rates. The results are personalized
car insurance for good drivers, better rates, and a seamless mobile app

Root is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, and is currently available to
drivers in Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois,
Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri,
Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon,
Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas and Utah, and will be coming to more
states soon.

For more information, visit
and get the rate you deserve by downloading
the app

About Wakefield Research:

The Root Insurance Survey was conducted online by Wakefield Research.
Data is based on responses from 1,819 U.S. adult drivers between March
20 and March 26, 2019.