All Hail Seattle’s Safest Driver! City of Seattle and PEMCO Mutual Insurance Announce Second Annual Contest Winners [Yahoo Finance]
Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and PEMCO Mutual Insurance have announced the winner of the 2019 Seattle’s Safest Driver contest and presented Scott Hogan, a professional semi-truck driver from Seattle, with a $5,000 cash grand prize for exemplary safe driving. During the last four weeks of the competition, which was the competition’s grand prize eligibility period, Hogan logged more than 1,800 miles and maintained a perfect score.
“Seattle’s Safest Driver was a great contest, and I am thrilled to be this year’s winner. It brought me back to my roots and memories of my father and grandfather teaching me to drive,” said Hogan. “I’m proud to have over 3 million crash-free miles and feel good about practicing safe driving every day.”
More than 2,100 people downloaded the Seattle’s Safest Driver app which encouraged people to drive safely, gives feedback on risky driving habits, and provides the opportunity to be rewarded for taking transit or biking.
Throughout the competition, risky driving behavior decreased by an average of 25% across all users, which is expected to persist, as data from previous years show that safe driving habits learned during the contest have a lasting effect months after the competition ends. The resulting positive behavior change builds on Seattle’s strong safety record and supports the City’s Vision Zero initiative to end traffic deaths and serious injuries on city streets by 2030. The contest, which uses award-winning technology developed by Cambridge Mobile Telematics (CMT), ran from May 13 through July 7, 2019.
“We’re thrilled to see measurable behavior change, especially around the issues of speeding and distraction,” said Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) Director Sam Zimbabwe. “Through this competition, I’ve been encouraged to see our friends, families, and neighbors work together to make mindful changes to their driving habits and make Seattle’s streets safer for everyone.”
The Seattle’s Safest Driver app ranked participants behind the wheel on five key factors: rapid acceleration, harsh braking, sharp turns, speeding and phone distraction. Participants saw the greatest change in the speeding category: among the top 25% of users, speeding decreased 55% and held steady for a majority of the contest.
Across the board, there was a 45% reduction in speeding, and distracted driving due to phone use improved by nearly 9%, while risk due to sharp turns improved by 11%. Speeding and distracted driving remain two of the top causes of crashes in Seattle, making these improvements notable.