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It's information the real estate industry doesn't want the insurance industry to collate - the best and worst drivers by occupation. Real estate agents are in the top five worst occupations for involvement in car accidents, according to a study by the Quality Planning Corporation (QPC).

QPC, says its Website, "assists auto insurers in their efforts to minimize rating error. QPC runs an auto insurance company’s book of policyholders through a battery of more than 150 proprietary tests, cross-references and pattern-matching algorithms to identify errors and discrepancies that might suggest fraud and misrepresentation on the part of consumers. QPC also provides insurers with additional services such as policyholder phone interviews to verify garaging addresses, annual mileage and other key rating information. Over time, insurance companies with accurate rating information are better able to compete and are more financially stable."

In an era where there are more cars in the garage than licensed drivers in the home according to the Transportation Department, it was just a matter of time before risk management divisions of insurers started looking at car drivers in new ways besides their ages and choices of vehicles. QPC has collated data that shows that some occupations produce more dangerous drivers than others.

After studying more than one million drivers, QPC learned nothing new along with a few surprises. It's a yawn to find out that students are the most likely to get involved in car accidents, but who would have thought that medical doctors, attorneys, architects and real estate agents would round out the top five? The bottom five occupations for car accidents are homemakers, politicians, pilots, firemen and farmers.

At least real estate agents aren't in the top five when it comes to collecting speeding tickets. That dishonor goes again to students at number one, followed by enlisted military, manual laborers, politicians and architects.

Architects are the only real estate-related to make the worst lists twice.

Dr. Daniel Finnegan, president and founder of QPC, noted, "The numbers blow big holes in the conventional wisdom about which professions are accident-prone or dangerous drivers. Interestingly, it appears that it is educated professionals who are most likely to be involved in accidents. Fortunately for those unlucky enough to be involved in an accident, individuals from two professions which are most helpful after such an incident — doctors and lawyers — are the most likely to be on the scene."

A likely factor for real estate agents' high involvement in accidents is their tendency to multitask while driving their automobiles. Real estate agents are mobile professionals who use their cars as offices. Cellphone use is pandemic, with the National Association of Realtors reporting over 93 percent of members using cellphones. What is not known is how many use their cellphones while driving, but that can be guessed from other data.

There are over 140 million cell phone users in the U.S. and a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration survey done in 2002 suggests that three out of four cellphone users talk on their cellphones while driving.

"Distracted driving," such as talking on a cellphone while driving, eating or changing the radio station, is said to cause approximately one-third of car accidents, according to the National Safety Council.

With over a million members of the NAR, 800,000 are four times at risk of having a car accident than other drivers if they use their cellphones while driving.

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