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New Distracted Driving Study Finds That NJ Motorists Are More Likely to Pull Over Before Texting

Plymouth Rock Assurance Study Shows Evidence of Cultural Shift; Company Officially Sets a New GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® Title for the Most Pledges to a Safety Campaign

Red Bank, NJ - (April 24, 2014) - Plymouth Rock Assurance today released the results of a new study issued during Distracted Driving Awareness Month revealing that the number of New Jersey drivers polled who park their cars before texting has doubled over the last year. Specifically, the percentage of respondents who practice this safe and legal alternative to texting while driving increased from 27 percent in 2013 to 55 percent in 2014. The company also announced that it has officially set a first-of-its-kind GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® title for the Most Pledges to a Safety Campaign through its fight against distracted driving.

“We are happy to report this positive change in driving behavior and hope that it is indicative of a cultural shift away from an epidemic that is unnecessarily claiming thousands of lives each year,” stated Gerry Wilson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Plymouth Rock Management Company of New Jersey. “There once was a time when drinking and driving or not wearing a seatbelt was more commonplace than it is today. People had to fight for a more responsible view. Now more than ever, we need to rally behind ongoing awareness efforts that will serve as the catalyst for further change.”

The study also found that of New Jersey drivers polled, nearly 60 percent have witnessed other drivers texting with passengers in the car, 26 percent admitted to texting while driving, and over 50 percent of those who text behind the wheel confessed to texting while driving at least weekly over the past six months. The gravity of these numbers is magnified through the lens of a reported 3,328 annual deaths attributed to distracted driving according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Building on a commitment to “More Than Just Insurance,” Plymouth Rock Assurance is leading the charge against distracted driving. Last spring, the company released a distracted driving survey finding that approximately 50 percent of passengers polled had asked a driver to stop texting while the car was in motion, and nearly one third had attempted to alert the driver of another vehicle to stop texting. Identifying the need for change, Plymouth Rock Assurance launched a campaign to create a measurable and impactful benchmark worthy of an official GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® title for the Most Pledges to a Safety Campaign. Over the past eight months, its Pledge Against Distracted Driving has garnered more than 32,000 signatures—surpassing the 25,000 required for an official record—through grassroots efforts, on-campus events at colleges, partnerships with charitable organizations, initiatives with local high schools, agent outreach, and a geo-targeted social media campaign.

“We are extremely proud of reaching this important milestone and setting the Guinness World Records title, but there is much work to be done as distracted driving continues to be one of the most dangerous issues currently affecting our roadways,” added Wilson. “We applaud and thank everyone who has taken the Pledge thus far and ask that they continue to influence others to put down the phone and keep their focus on the road. Plymouth Rock Assurance will continue to encourage the fight to keep this important public safety issue in the spotlight.”

Plymouth Rock Assurance is committed to making New Jersey’s roads a safer place by exposing the dangers of distracted driving and conducting research to better understand the behaviors of motorists. As April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, Plymouth Rock Assurance is rallying New Jersey drivers to fight back against irresponsible driving practices and continues to urge drivers to take its Pledge Against Distracted Driving. Drivers who wish to commit to safe driving and refrain from cell phone usage on the road can read more information here.

This survey consisted of 3,300 consumers with valid driver’s licenses who operate a vehicle at least once per week living in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Vermont. The survey included questions to identify awareness, sensitivity, behavior, and attitudes inclusive of distracted driving associated with mobile technology and those not commonly considered as detrimental to road safety. Behaviors such as tuning the car radio, conversing with other passengers, personal grooming, eating and drinking, and programming a GPS were also studied. The study had a 95 percent confidence interval and +/- 2 percent margin of error. The survey was conducted with Customer Care Measurement & Consulting (CCMC), a market research consultant firm located in Alexandria, VA. CCMC’s customer satisfaction and loyalty surveys, and analytics, are used by leading Fortune 500 companies from every industry to get a better ROI for their investments in the customer experience.

About Plymouth Rock Assurance
Plymouth Rock Assurance is a marketing name used by a group of separate companies that write and manage property and casualty insurance in multiple states. Insurance in New Jersey is offered by Plymouth Rock Management Company of New Jersey on behalf of Palisades Safety and Insurance Association, Palisades Insurance Company, and their affiliates. Each company is financially responsible only for its own insurance products. Actual coverage is subject to the language of the policies as issued by each company.

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