TrueMotion, Penn Medicine, and Progressive Insurance to investigate strategies to reduce distracted driving

November 6, 2018


Research will study the impact “nudges” have in helping reduce distracted driving

TrueMotion, the leading smartphone telematics platform, today announced that it will work with Penn Medicine and Progressive Insurance to investigate strategies to reduce distracted driving. Together they will focus on the effects of distracted driving interventions. The interventions will be delivered to users’ smartphones – “nudging” them to reduce distraction. The study is part of a $1.84 million grant provided by the Federal Highway Administration to Penn Medicine.

“This distracted driving research will be game-changing for road safety and auto insurance,” said TrueMotion CEO Ted Gramer. “Nudges have been effective across many areas, including smoking, retirement savings, and organ donations. Nudges could be equally effective for distracted driving. We’re excited to work with Penn and Progressive on this research.”

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Researchers will invite Progressive Snapshot customers to the study on their smartphone app. Participants will be randomly selected for distracted driving interventions. The interventions are based on proven behavioral economic strategies. They include:

  • Silencing notifications while driving
  • Providing demographic benchmarks for distraction behaviors
  • Offering financial incentives for putting down the phone

“Distracted driving is a national epidemic that’s vastly underreported. Activities that cause distracted driving – such as handheld cellphone use – are illegal in many states, yet it still happens every day,” said Dr. Kit Delgado, assistant professor of Emergency Medicine and Epidemiology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and lead researcher on the project. “The research study with TrueMotion and Progressive is designed to understand how we can reduce distracted driving across various demographic segments. We’ve assembled a team with expertise in behavioral economics and behavioral design, traffic safety, statistics, and epidemiology to assess the effectiveness of distracted driving interventions.”

TrueMotion powers the Progressive Snapshot mobile telematics program. TrueMotion’s patented technology can be integrated into any mobile app to collect driving data. The platform captures raw smartphone sensor data. It transforms sensor data into driving data with machine learning algorithms. It can detect when a driver slams on the brakes, speeds, uses their phone, and crashes. The technology will measure and report on study participants’ distraction levels.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration estimates that distracted driving kills 3,450 people every year, although the true count is likely much higher. On a daily basis, Americans drive 3.3 miles distracted and text 6.5 minutes while driving. 3.9% of drivers in the U.S. – 8.6 million – are distracted 50% of their time behind the wheel.

About TrueMotion

TrueMotion provides the world’s leading smartphone driving data platform. Powered by machine learning, the platform determines when a person is driving, reveals their behaviors behind the wheel, and detects crashes. Insurers, rideshare companies, and fleets use TrueMotion data to fuel their pricing, claims, and retention programs. Eight of the top 20 US insurers and leading insurers in Canada and Europe rely on TrueMotion technology. The company is based in Boston with offices in Milan and Budapest. For more information, please visit

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