At Motor Insurance World, CMT’s Director of Corporate & Strategic Development, Mohsin Rashid, spoke on a panel titled “Eyes on the Road: Distracted Driving and Smartphones.” He and fellow panelists discussed the role insurers can play in preventing consumers from using a smartphone while driving and whether or not technology can help reduce the number of claims caused by drivers distracted by their phones. Below are some of the main points Mohsin discussed.

Distracted driving awareness in the U.S.
There is significant emphasis on distracted driving in the United States. Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April was widely publicized and included a national campaign by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

CMT partners with municipalities and insurers on Safest Driver contests that reward the safest and least distracted drivers with cash prizes. Among the top 25% of drivers:

    • Boston’s Safest Driver saw a 47% reduction in distraction
    • Seattle’s Safest Driver saw a 35% reduction in distraction
    • San Antonio’s Safest Driver saw a 29% reduction in distraction

Distracted driving still doesn’t hold the same stigma as drunk driving 
It takes a sober person 0.54 seconds to hit the brake. If intoxicated, add 4 feet of distance to the reaction time. If distracted, add 70 feet of distance to the reaction time. Despite this and the fact that distracted driving is recognized as a significant public safety issue, it does not yet have the stigma attached to it that drunk driving does.

The insurer’s role: Center company policy around safety 
Talk to your drivers about distracted driving and make it clear you care about making roads safer for them.

Actively reduce and prevent distracted driving by building a program that uses the smartphone to give drivers feedback and incentivizes them to improve. One example of this is rewards; companies across various sectors use rewards to motivate behavior change.