New Distracted Driving Survey Reveals Massachusetts Motorists Are 30 Percent Less Likely To Text While Driving Compared with Wider Population of Drive

Boston, MA - (April 24, 2014) -today released the results of a new distracted driving study, revealing that 26 percent of Massachusetts drivers polled said they sent text messages while driving. The number is down from 39 percent of Bay State drivers who admitted to sending texts behind the wheel in 2013, and is significantly less than the 56 percent of surveyed drivers across the larger Northeast region who admitted to texting while driving this year. These study results come on the heels of Plymouth Rock’s announcement that it has set an official GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® title for the Most Pledges to a Safety Campaign, securing more than 32,000 signatures in the fight against distracted driving.

Plymouth Rock conducted a survey of 3,300 consumers with valid drivers’ licenses living in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Vermont to gauge distracted driving awareness in the Northeast region of the United States. The survey findings indicate heightened awareness and safer habits amongst Massachusetts motorists, with nearly six in ten drivers polled stating that they typically text when the car is parked in a safe location, and just four percent admitting to texting when behind the wheel of a moving vehicle.

Despite these positive findings, the results also showed that significant progress still needs to be made in Massachusetts and beyond to improve driver safety. The report found that Massachusetts drivers who admit to texting while driving do so on a weekly basis, and that 87 percent of drivers who witnessed another driver texting with a child in the passenger seat took no action. Regionally, nearly two thirds of drivers polled across the seven surveyed states admitted to engaging in distracted driving behavior daily.

“While we’re encouraged to learn that fewer Massachusetts drivers are texting while driving, we recognize that a lot of work still needs to be done,” said Chris Olie, President and CEO of Plymouth Rock Assurance. “Having witnessed reform in the use of seat belts and the movement away from drunk driving, we’re confident that change is possible. We will continue to educate drivers and raise awareness about the perils of distracted driving until that mindset shift is realized.”

Already, Plymouth Rock has demonstrated its commitment to encouraging safer driving practices with its Pledge Against Distracted Driving campaign. Through grass-roots efforts, on-campus events with local colleges and universities, social media, and relationships with charitable organizations including People Against Distracted Driving (PADD), Plymouth Rock successfully executed this campaign over the course of the past six months to educate drivers about the risks associated with distracted driving and to encourage safer driving habits, accelerating the progress evidenced by the company’s 2014 Distracted Driving Survey.

“We’re thrilled to have set the Guinness World Records® title for Most Pledges to a Safety Campaign and hope that more drivers commit to being safe on the roads as distracted driving awareness continues to build,” added Olie. “Public safety is our primary concern, and we will continue the fight against distracted driving as long as it’s an issue.”

Plymouth Rock continues to urge drivers to take the Pledge Against Distracted Driving during Distracted Driving Awareness Month and beyond. Drivers who wish to commit to safe driving and refrain from cell phone usage on the road can read more information here.

About Plymouth Rock Assurance

Headquartered in Boston, Plymouth Rock Assurance Corporation is a leading automobile insurance carrier serving Massachusetts and Connecticut. Plymouth Rock’s industry-leading service innovations include the exclusive Plymouth Rock Savings Pass, which helps Massachusetts customers save hundreds of dollars on auto-related goods and services; Crashbusters® mobile expert appraisers, who travel directly to a customer’s vehicle to assess damage and often issue a check on the spot; Door to Door Valet Claim Service® which manages the entire auto repair process from start to finish; Get Home Safe®, which covers the cost of a one-time cab ride home up to $50 per policy year when a Massachusetts policyholder feels it would be unsafe to operate a motor vehicle; and its Pledge of Assurance®, an industry-leading written commitment to service excellence.

Plymouth Rock Assurance Corporation has an “A-/Excellent” rating from A.M. Best, the insurance industry’s premier independent rating service. It is part of the Plymouth Rock Group of Companies, which together write and manage over $1 billion in auto and home insurance in the Northeast. Each of the Plymouth Rock companies is financially responsible only for its own insurance products. Actual coverage is subject to the language of the policies as issued by each separate company.

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