San Francisco school area is fourth-worst in the nation for distracted driving
By Annie Vainshtein/Sep 20, 2017


Out of 2,222 counties, only New York County was worse than San Francisco for driver safety.
Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images


A screen capture of Bessie Carmichael Elementary School.
Photo: Google Maps


UNSAFE COUNTIES

Worst for Road Safety:
#1: San Francisco County
Ranking: 55/55
Photo: Paul Chinn, The Chronicle


UNSAFE COUNTIES

Worst for Road Safety:
#2: Alameda County
Ranking: 50/55
Photo: Noah Berger, Special To The Chronicle


UNSAFE COUNTIES

Worst for Road Safety:
#3: San Mateo County
Ranking: 49/55
Photo: Paul Chinn, The Chronicle

UNSAFE COUNTIES

Worst for Road Safety:
#4: Santa Clara County
Ranking: 48/55


UNSAFE COUNTIES

Worst for Road Safety:
#5: Contra Costa County
Ranking: 45/55

Best for road safety:
#1: Marin County
Ranking: 19/55
Photo: Tim Maloney, The Chronicle

SAFER COUNTIES

Best for road safety:
#2: Napa County
Ranking: 24/55
Photo: Erik Castro, Special To The Chronicle


Best for road safety:
#3: Sonoma County
Ranking: 29/55
Photo: James Tensuan, Special To The Chronicle


SAFER COUNTIES

Best for road safety:
#4: Solano County
Ranking: 42/55
Photo: Paul Chinn, The Chronicle


A screen capture of Bessie Carmichael Elementary School.
Photo: Google Maps

Bessie Carmichael Elementary finally opens at its new spot South of Market at 375 7th St. � Shot on 11/10/04 in San Francisco. LIZ HAFALIA/The Chronicle
Photo: Liz Hafalia

It doesn’t matter whether you’re texting, Google-mapping, Waze-ing or Periscope-ing: if you use your phone while you’re driving, your chances of a collision go up 20-fold. But 88 percent of us do it anyway, according to the driving analytics company Zendrive.

The numbers are part of the San Francisco-based startup’s research on distracted driving around the country. A recent study of driver activity in traffic intersections found that distracted driving is making it more dangerous for kids in the city, and elsewhere around the country, to get to school.

Using phone sensor data, Zendrive studied the intersections around 75,000 schools nationwide in April of 2017, and found that San Francisco is the second-most dangerous county in the nation for distracted driving near campuses. The data gave each school area, county, and state a grade (A+ through F). The results and interactive map can be viewed here.

The results were troubling for the Bay Area. Out of 2,222 counties, only New York County was worse than San Francisco for driver safety, and several other counties in the Bay Area received a failing grade.

“San Francisco is one of the most tech-savvy cities out there, and people really live and breathe through their smartphones,” Zendrive CEO and co-founder Jonathan Matus said. “It might be that while sitting in traffic or heading back home, the temptation to pick up the phone and check Twitter or send someone a message, or to check the news is a little too high.”

Zendrive’s findings also located the most dangerous school area in San Francisco to drive around. Bessie Carmichael School in the SoMa neighborhood ranked fourth for most dangerous school areas in the nation. One area in New York and two in Texas were more dangerous.

Bessie Carmichael Elementary’s location at Fourth and Harrison Streets, right next to an Interstate 80 ramp, has been cited as the reason for many of the collisions near the school. Fred Rutger, an SFMTA crossing guard, told Streetsblog San Francisco that he had already been injured three times by hit-and-run drivers near the school due to illegal right turns coming from freeway traffic.

Officials at Bessie Carmichael Elementary did not respond to interview requests f0r this story.

According to the CDC, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the U.S. A Fortune article from February also found that 2016 saw more deaths from motor vehicle crashes on U.S. roads than any time since 2007.

Most of the Bay Area scored Fs in the Zendrive study. Marin and Santa Cruz county were majority Cs. Only two San Francisco schools received As and almost half received Fs.

The Noe Valley and Bernal Heights neighborhoods of SF scored relatively low on distracted driving risk near schools. The fewest danger spots were reported around the Bayview District, and apparently the safest school to be near traffic-wise is in Crocker-Amazon. The study also found that the most treacherous hour to be on or near roads around schools nationwide wasn’t in the morning, but between 4 p.m.-5 p.m.

Zendrive says its goal is to use analytics to help make roads safer. Matus said plenty can be improved. Appliances like mounts can “magically” change the behavior of those who typically use their phones while driving. The firm is also considering advocating for new legislation on distracted driving.

Story source: https://flipboard.com/@flipboard/-san-francisco-school-area-is-fourth-wor/f-26fa0d5257%2Fsfgate.com