When drivers are made aware of their risky driving habits, they reduce them by 20 percent, according to data released today by TrueMotion, a company dedicated to reducing distracted driving through mobile technology. Based on actual driving data from more than 27,000 drivers who took 4.5 million trips and logged more than 68 million miles during the first quarter, the average driver spends about 12 percent of each trip engaged in some manner with a smartphone.
TrueMotion’s mobile app uses the sensors built into smartphones (iOS and Android), combined with machine learning and data science to objectively and accurately capture how the phone is being used (in-hand, lap, mount, cup holder, etc.) and interacted with (phone calls, touching, typing, etc.) during a drive. Each driver is given an overall score based on the amount of time he or she spends distracted, including handheld phone calls, handsfree phone calls and “swiping and typing” app use.
Based on analysis of the actual amount of time drivers spent using their phone while driving, TrueMotion observed a 20 percent reduction in distraction within 12 weeks of installing the app. The steep decrease in distraction is remarkable, considering the app simply tracks a driver’s distraction and assigns it a score which drivers can see. This data suggests that simply making drivers aware of how much they are distracted causes them to reduce distraction and phone use while behind the wheel.
Other findings from analysis of the data:
A slideshare of the results is available here: https://www.slideshare.net/gotruemotion/2017-q1-state-of-distracted-driving
“These results are a powerful new development in the effort to reduce distracted driving,” said Scott Griffith, co-founder and CEO of TrueMotion. “The fact that drivers significantly reduce phone use and distraction after only seeing their score — with no other incentive — suggests that further reductions are possible when there are incentives or rewards. We’re researching and testing new ways to make it more fun and more rewarding for drivers to kick the distracted driving habit as part of our mission to make the roads safer for all.”
TrueMotion recently launched a new app, Mojo, designed to further reduce distracted driving by offering rewards and incentives for distraction-free driving. The app uses competition, gamification and financial incentives to help drivers kick the distraction habit.
The need for new approaches to reduce distracted driving is critical. Despite laws banning texting (46 states) and phone use (14 states) while driving, distracted driving continues to be a major problem. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA): “Ten percent of fatal crashes, 15 percent of injury crashes, and 14 percent of all police-reported motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2015 were reported as distraction-affected crashes.” 2016 was the deadliest year on the roads in more than a decade, with more than 40,000 deaths according to the National Safety Council.
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