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Score your drives

Good drivers constantly look for ways to assess and improve their driving.  Lack of citations and crashes are noteworthy standards to seek, but one entity has identified a few other behaviors to monitor.

The entity is EverDrive, a company offering a smartphone app that evaluates one’s driving based on several risk factors.  The free app, developed by Cambridge Mobile Telematics (CMT), automatically records and scores your trips. The intent is to provide information that may make you a safer driver.

Data is collected on the app when there is significant movement to indicating driving.  Trip results appear a few minutes after each drive has been completed.  Information is gathered through use of the app’s accelerometer, time of day, GPS location and gyroscopic rotational movement.

EverDrive collects and analyzes driving data and from that data computes your acceleration, braking, cornering, speeding and phone use. It then uses that information to create an overall tally, eventually supplying your score (out of 100) based on the last two weeks of trips driven.

To maximize your score, you must drive at or near the posted speed limit, while avoiding harsh braking and fast acceleration. Taking corners quickly and using your phone while driving will have a negative impact on scores.  It’s recommended that you imagine holding a cup of hot coffee while driving, not wanting to spill a drop.

You can pause recording when taking a bus, train, or other mode of transportation.  The app even learns about individual driving styles over time, making it possible to determine when you are not driving yourself, but rather a passenger in someone’s car or truck.

Enough sophistication is built into the software so that your score will not be impacted if your vehicle is parked or stopped when you use your phone during a trip.

Available for both Android and iOS phones, the app measures a user’s statistics involving five key factors of defensive driving:  phone distraction, braking, acceleration, cornering and speeding.

Each trip summary includes details and a map of route driven.  There are even leaderboards ranking your score among other users and invited friends.  A cumulative score is continuously displayed reflecting scores of all trips taken during the previous two weeks.

 

Over the last 12 months, drivers across the nation garnered a “B-” average based on their scoring in the five arenas measured.  In the category of phone use, the score was 80, reflecting 38% of monitored drives had phone usage while the vehicle was in motion.  The braking category scored 83, meaning 32% of drives showed harsh braking.  Acceleration score was 85, due to 21% of drives having aggressive acceleration. The cornering category revealed a score of 86, as 16% of drives involved improper turns.  The speeding classification had the worst national score of 79, as 36% of drives contained speeding, only a “C” grade.

Regionally, drivers scored the best in Midwestern states (83), followed by the West (82), South (80) and Northeast (75). 

While no test evaluating driving is perfect, results and trends are noteworthy.  If drivers got 100% in all categories, safety would certainly be enhanced.  Speeding and acceleration are indicative of aggressive driving and road rage proneness. Phone use is decidedly distracting, while improper turns and harsh braking reflect a lack of concentration and pre-planning.

Simply elevating drivers’ devotion to evaluating and improving their driving is a good thing, and the EverDrive app makes an earnest attempt to do that.

Readers may contact Bill Love via e-mail at precisiondriving@spokesman.com.

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