We scroll. We swipe. We friend. We share our faces. We share our lives. We share…driving behaviors?
I NSIGHTS PREVIEW:
Facebook was the most popular social network, garnering support from almost half of all users surveyed
Married and home-owning respondents preferred no social network over more youth-oriented platforms like Instagram and Snapchat
Students were far less likely to name Facebook as their favorite platform in the face of Instagram and Snapchat—signaling a significant generational shift
Respondents with bachelor’s or post-grad degrees were more likely to move away from Facebook and Snapchat
Truck drivers preferred Facebook to Instagram at an almost 3x higher rate
No significant correlation was found between driver behavior and social media preference
At this point, there’s no denying that social media has an indelible presence in our personal lives. Whether you’re a bona fide Instagram influencer, a scroll-happy teen, a dark-web dweller, or a Pinterest mom (you know who you are), chances are that you’ve spent an unprecedented amount of time online last year. According to MarketWatch’s coverage of a recent Nielsen report, the average American spends about 11 hours a day staring at screens—a heretofore unprecedented figure. That’s a lot of not-so-ambient light. And eye strain. And knuckle cracking.
But does it translate to how we behave on the road? Curious as to whether online preferences could have any tangible impact on driver behavior, the data scientists at Insurify set out to determine if there was any relationship between the social media landscape and the drivers who love (or hate) it. Do these insights confirm or debunk the stereotypes we hold about social media usership? And more importantly, when are any of you going to slide into our DMs? Our inboxes are lonely.
Here’s what the data team found.
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The data scientists at Insurify, an auto insurance comparison website, collected data from their database of over 1.5 million car insurance applications, which ask questions about driving history, vehicle type, and other personal data from the past seven years. Some shoppers were also surveyed at random about their favorite social media platform. From the response data, Insurify’s data team was able to determine the significant differences in reported driver behavior (and other data) between respondents.
So what’s the takeaway?
When it came down to the ultimate question on our minds—did driving behavior at all correlate with social media preference?—the initial answer seemed to be a resounding “no.” Accident rates, speeding tickets, DUIs—it seems there was no measurable relationship between these variables and our social platforms of choice.
Perhaps this is a harbinger for safer driving in the future—after all, we know the consequences of Snapchatting and driving or Tweeting under the influence. However, there are major correlations between social networks of choice and identity markers (be they generational, educational, or otherwise personal). And time and time again we’ve seen how factors like age, gender, and location can impact insurance rates, which are partially determined by observable trends in driving behavior.
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