What driving scores does the app have, and what are the reasons behind them?

A: Here are each of the six scores; the first sentence in italics is the help text you’ll see in the app (we tried to make it really short), and then some additional explanation where necessary.

DRIVING AMOUNT 
How much you drive affects your monthly bill the most out of all the categories. It’s pretty straightforward: hardly anyone gets in an accident with their car sitting in the driveway! And this factor is so important because it’s not just about your own behavior behind the wheel — it’s all the other drivers around you too. The good news is, even if you have a long commute, you can still earn a substantial discount if you’re a mindful driver.

SMOOTH BRAKING 
Awareness, looking ahead, and easing on the brakes are keys to this important factor. The reason this is the second-most-important score is that a lot of accidents are people rear-ending each other. Of course we all have to slam on the brakes every once in a while (and that won’t much affect your score), but if you’re doing that every time you drive, it probably means you’re doing one or both unsafe driving habits: tailgating, or distracted driving. (And conversely, if your pattern is braking smoothly, you are probably both leaving enough space ahead of you, and paying attention.)

DRIVING ENVIRONMENT 
This includes nighttime driving (daytime is safer), and city versus open roads. In addition to better visibility in the daytime, the other two reasons nighttime driving tends to be more dangerous is that people are more likely to be driving tired, or driving drunk. This score also includes the road type or situation: as you’d imagine, cruising steadily along an empty road is usually safer than being in stop-and-go traffic, and highways and rural roads are usually safer than cities.

GRADUAL ACCELERATION 
Being steady with your gas pedal reduces the chance of startling other drivers. Not as many accidents occur because someone peels out and then rear-ends someone — but it does happen.

SAFE SPEEDS
Excessive speeds will decrease your reaction time and use way more gas. This one’s also pretty simple: lower speeds give you more time to react if something happens around you.

GENTLE CORNERING 
Imagine not spilling a cup of coffee on your dashboard to stay safe when turning. If you drive much in the rain or snow, you probably already know this by feel: hard cornering means you’re more likely to skid. (The coffee cup idea, by the way, also works for acceleration and braking too.)

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