Progressive Insurance Encourages Drivers to Put the Brakes on Dangerous Driving Behavior with "Drive Safe Today Day"

Survey finds nearly four in five drivers do not know the safest placement for their hands on the steering wheel

MAYFIELD VILLAGE, Ohio — August 29, 2014 — Like many drivers, you may have been taught that the "10 and two o'clock" position is the safest way to hold a steering wheel, but it's time to update your in-car mantra. According to a Progressive®Insurance survey of U.S. drivers, 77 percent of respondents did not know the safest placement for their hands is actually at "nine and three." To raise awareness about the importance of proper hand position and other safe driving behaviors, Progressive has named September 3rd " Drive Safe Today Day." The date represents nine and three o'clock, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommended position for holding the steering wheel.

"At Progressive, we are empowering drivers with data and information they can use to be safer, more aware drivers," said Tricia Griffith, President of Customer Operations for Progressive Insurance. "On September 3rd, we're encouraging drivers to take a pledge to model safe driving behavior on the road. It's a simple way to make positive changes like avoiding tailgating, minimizing distractions in the car, wearing your seat belt and holding the steering wheel with your hands at nine and three."

Progressive conducted a survey to identify how knowledgeable drivers are when it comes to the most basic safe driving practices. Key findings include:

Safe Driving Basics

  • 77 percent of respondents do not know the safest placement of their hands on the steering wheel.
  • 44 percent of respondents have forgotten to wear their seatbelt at least once before, and 31 percent have forgotten more than once.

Distractions on the Road and in the Car

  • 47 percent of drivers say other people in the car are more distracting than their smartphone.

Close Calls and Pet Peeves

  • 82 percent of American drivers admit they've had a "close call" while driving in the past year—and on average, they've had six of them.
  • Tailgating, or driving too close to the car in front of them, is the biggest dangerous driving pet peeve for 52 percent of respondents, followed by slamming on the brakes (14 percent), blasting music (10 percent) and using their phone while driving (6 percent).

For a closer look at how your region ranks in safe driving behaviors, check out this interactive map.*

Ready to take the pledge? Visit to take the pledge, share it with your friends and family, as well as access helpful tips and information to help you stay safe on the road.

About Progressive
The Progressive Group of Insurance Companies makes it easy to understand, buy and use auto insurance. Progressive offers choices so consumers can reach it whenever, wherever and however it's most convenient—online at, by phone at 1-800-PROGRESSIVE, on a mobile device or in-person with a local agent.

Progressive also offers insurance for personal and commercial autos and trucks, motorcycles, boats, recreational vehicles, as well as home insurance through select carriers. It's the fourth largest auto insurer in the country, the largest seller of motorcycle insurance and a leader in commercial auto insurance. Progressive also offers car insurance online in Australia at

Founded in 1937, Progressive continues its long history of offering shopping tools and services that save customers time and money, like Name Your Price®, Snapshot®, and Service Centers.

The Common Shares of The Progressive Corporation, the Mayfield Village, Ohio-based holding company, trade publicly at NYSE:PGR.