News | Distracted Driving

JFK airport has the city's most distracted drivers

Crain's New York Business
April 3, 2017

A national study located the five worst road segments of drivers looking at their phones

It probably comes as no surprise to New Yorkers, but the area around John F. Kennedy International Airport has more drivers looking at their phones when they shouldn’t than anywhere else in the city. Also not surprising but maybe more alarming: The next-most-distracted road segment was the area where the Cross-Bronx Expressway meets the George Washington Bridge, according to a survey released Monday by Cambridge Mobile Telematics.

The Cambridge, Mass., firm markets safe-driving app DriveWell, which uses motion sensors and GPS technology to track when drivers are using their phone. It tracked the habits of several hundred thousand drivers around the country that use the platform. The New York results came from a pool of more than 6,300 drivers over a three-month period.

The road segment in third place in the metro area: where the Staten Island Expressway meets the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. Rounding out the top five: the Astoria Boulevard and Grand Central Parkway intersection next to LaGuardia Airport and the intersection of the Long Island Expressway and the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.

“Places like bridges or wherever there’s a ton of congestion and people sit in traffic tend to be where there’s a lot of distraction,” said Sam Madden, an MIT computer science professor who is a co-founder of Cambridge Mobile Telematics. “People pick up their phone and continue to use it as they accelerate out of the congestion.”

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