U S Drivers Message More During Afternoon Rush Than Any Other Time Behind The Wheel

Topic Tag | Engineering

Data Report: U.S. Drivers Message More During Afternoon Rush Than Any Other Time Behind The Wheel

Safe messaging technology need not be limited to expensive new cars with only the latest onboard infotainment systems. Through the Drivemode app for Android, over 177K drivers took advantage of Drivemode’s safe messaging features in 2017. With hands-free, talk-to-text messaging and a simplified interface, Drivemode is designed and developed to adhere to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration safety guidelines for driving apps.

Drivemode studied anonymized driver behavior of Android users to understand when and where our drivers were messaging most. To determine national and regional messaging trends, Drivemode analyzed more than 6.5 million instances of hands-free messages being sent and received (hereafter, “messages” or “messaging”) from January 1, 2017 through December 31, 2017, on an hourly basis, across the 50 U.S. states. 

Summary Findings

  • Drivers message more during afternoon rush hours than any other time they are driving.
  • Between 5pm and 6pm nationally, we see the most drivers, the most overall messages sent and received, and the highest incidence of messaging at 6.87 messages per user during that hour, establishing our peak national average.
  • 10 states are messaging at or above the peak national average of 6.87 messages in an hour.
  • New Yorkers lead with over 8 messages during their peak hour of 5pm-6pm.

Data tables include:

  • The most popular times of day to message nationally, based on average messages per user.
  • The states messaging the most during peak times, compared to the national average.
  • The most popular times of day to message state-by-state, based on average messages per user.

Most Popular Messaging Times Nationally

Ranking Traffic Trend Most PopularHour For Users Average Messages Per User During Hour Percentage of Daily Messages Sent*
1 Afternoon Rush 5PM 6.87 7.91%
2 4PM 6.59 7.86%
3 3PM 6.29 7.45%
4 6PM 6.19 6.93%
5 Morning Rush 7AM 6.13 4.57%
6 8AM 5.99 5.50%
7 Lunch 2PM 5.91 6.97%
8 12PM 5.66 6.66%
9 1PM 5.63 6.53%
10 Evening 7PM 5.54 5.58%
*This percentage includes only sent messages to show that active engagement by the driver increases during this time, irrespective of passive receipt of messages.

“Drivers disproportionately use their afternoon commutes to connect with co-workers, friends or family via messaging, whether it’s to wrap up work or to share status with family and friends,” said Yo Koga, co-founder and CEO of Drivemode. “The drivers in our study are messaging safely— hands-free and voice activated. But the data signals a trend that almost certainly extends to the population at large. That gives us an indication of the times of day we need to be especially mindful of ensuring everyone’s safety on the road.”   

During the peak messaging time between 4pm and 6pm, drivers send 22% of their total 6.5 million average daily messages. 5pm to 6pm shows the most active users nationally, and they are messaging at the highest rate of the day with 6.87 messages during that time.The overall increase in activity during afternoon rush hour is consistent with the desire to connect and communicate the details of leaving work, meeting up with friends, or notifying family of status.

“The difference in messaging behavior between morning and afternoon commutes reveals priorities of drivers during that time. Morning drivetime may be an opportunity to listen to music or news rather than to connect with family or co-workers, for example. But after work, a driver may need to communicate traffic delays to family, provide updates on errands or stops before coming home, connect with friends, or follow up on lingering work issues,” said Koga.

Based on the peak national average of 6.87 messages per hour, 10 states are messaging at or above the national average. New York leads at over 8 messages between 5pm and 6pm while California is messaging right at the national average during their peak from 3pm-4pm . The table immediately below shows the 10 states messaging at or above the national average. The final table shows peak messaging times and rates for all 50 states.

States Messaging Most During Peak Hour

Rank State Region Messages Per User During Peak Hour Difference From National Avg of 6.87 Most PopularHour For Users
1 New York Northeast 8.21 +1.34 5PM
2 Hawaii West 7.90 +1.034 4PM
3 Florida South 7.87 +1.00 5PM
4 Massachusetts Northeast 7.78 +0.91 4PM
5 Oregon West 7.70 +0.83 4PM
6 Utah West 7.60 +0.73 5PM
7 Colorado West 7.45 +0.583 5PM
8 Washington West 7.26 +0.39 3PM
9 Texas South 7.17 +0.30 4PM
10 California West 6.87 0 3PM

Most Popular Messaging Times By State

State Region Most PopularHour For Users Messages Per User During Peak Hour Difference From National Avg of 6.87
Alabama South 3pm 5.12 -1.74
Alaska West 4pm 5.06 -1.80
Arizona West 3pm 5.94 -0.92
Arkansas South 4pm 2.60 -4.26
California West 3pm 6.87 0
Colorado West 5pm 7.45 +0.58
Connecticut Northeast 4pm 5.96 -0.90
Delaware South 5pm 3.07 -3.79
Florida South 5pm 7.87 1.00
Georgia South 5pm 6.73 -0.13
Hawaii West 4pm 7.90 1.03
Idaho West 5pm 3.18 -3.68
Illinois Midwest 3pm 6.24 -0.62
Indiana Midwest 5pm 5.45 -1.41
Iowa Midwest 5pm 3.31 -3.55
Kansas Midwest 4pm 3.66 -3.20
Kentucky South 4pm 5.44 -1.42
Louisiana South 4pm 5.45 -1.41
Maine Northeast 4pm 2.62 -4.24
Maryland South 4pm 2.75 -4.11
Massachusetts Northeast 4pm 7.78 +0.91
Michigan Midwest 4pm 6.51 -0.35
Minnesota Midwest 4pm 5.25 -1.61
Mississippi South 4pm 4.09 -2.77
Missouri Midwest 5pm 6.18 -0.68
Montana West 5pm 2.38 -4.48
Nebraska Midwest 5pm 5.77 -1.09
Nevada West 4pm 5.92 -0.94
New Hampshire Northeast 4pm 3.05 -3.81
New Jersey Northeast 5pm 6.55 -0.31
New Mexico West 5pm 4.20 -2.66
New York Northeast 5pm 8.21 +1.34
North Carolina South 4pm 5.90 -0.96
North Dakota Midwest 5pm 2.14 -4.72
Ohio Midwest 4pm 5.68 -1.18
Oklahoma South 4pm 5.61 -1.25
Oregon West 4pm 7.70 +0.83
Pennsylvania Northeast 3pm 5.92 -0.94
Rhode Island Northeast 5pm 4.48 -2.38
South Carolina South 4pm 2.96 -3.90
South Dakota Midwest 4pm 3.01 -3.85
Tennessee South 5pm 5.74 -1.12
Texas South 4pm 7.17 +0.30
Utah West 5pm 7.60 +0.73
Vermont Northeast 4pm 1.81 -5.05
Virginia South 4pm 5.69 -1.17
Washington West 3pm 7.26 +0.39
West Virginia South 4pm 2.81 -4.05
Wisconsin Midwest 3pm 5.60 -1.26
Wyoming West 2pm 1.93 -4.93