Can Being An iPhone User Really Determine Whether One Is A Good (Or, Bad) Driver?

FEATURE – If you’re traveling on the road this summer, you might want to keep your Apple smartphone locked up inside the car’s glove compartment for your (and, everyone else’s) safety.

Summer is here — for some, it unofficially started back in May on Memorial Day — and today, the Friday before the Fourth of July, is gearing up to be the busiest travel day of 2022. According to the American Automobile Association, or AAA, 42 million people are expected to be on the nation’s roads in advance of the Independence Day holiday this year.

Automobile road traffic
(Photo: Jeffrey Greenberg / Universal Images Group)

While paying a premium at the pump is enough to make most Americans weary of traveling by car this Summer, there’s another factor that should be taken into consideration when getting behind the steering wheel of your vehicle and that’s whether one (or, the other person sharing the street with you) is a user of an iPhone.

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iPhone Users: ‘Outperformed At Every Turn’

Back in May, Jerry, a licensed automobile insurance brokerage company, found that when it comes to safe driving habits, iPhone users were outperformed at every turn by their counterparts who used a non-Apple smartphone.

For its methodology, Jerry observed the driving habits of 20,000 drivers who drove 13 million kilometers over a 14-day period. The data compiled by the company generated an overall score which also included sub-scores for speed, acceleration, braking, and turning.

The results were then grouped into drivers with iOS or the Android operating system running on their phones (in its report, Jerry noted that The data compiled by the company had twice as many iPhone users than those who used a non-Apple smartphone).

Sadly, when it comes to safe driving habits, iPhone users received lower overall scores than drivers who used a non-Apple smartphone. Most of all, when it comes to keeping one’s hands off their phones when in the driver’s seat, notably, the former of the two was outperformed by the latter.

A key insight from the data compiled by the company, however, was that drivers who used a non-Apple smartphone received higher overall scores regardless of age, gender, education, marital status, and credit rating (characteristics that Jerry noted were otherwise strong predictors of safe driving habits).

But what exactly accounts for the major discrepancies in the overall scores of drivers with iOS or the Android operating system running on their phones? Interestingly enough, Jerry reported that it was not clear based on the data compiled by the company.

Also in May of this year — in a story on how driver etiquette is affected by the size, type, and cost of the car being driven — Business Insider reported that most of the research on the psychology of drivers focuses on traits like attention and situational awareness, adding, “Get distracted by something, usually a phone, and your monkey brain can’t keep up.”

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