News | Customer Announcement

Nationwide and Cambridge Mobile Telematics Partner to Help Drivers Reduce Phone Distraction [PR Newswire]

October 6, 2020

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Oct. 6, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — A close call behind the wheel is an experience everyone is thankful to avoid, yet more than a third (37%) of car trips in 2019 had distracted driving, according to research from Cambridge Mobile Telematics1 (CMT). The dangers of distracted driving are real. Research from Nationwide has found that 66% of consumers believe the leading cause of accidents is distracted driving2.

Nationwide’s SmartRide® mobile app powered by CMT will now show drivers when and where they were driving while distracted by their phones. Nationwide is partnering with CMT to deliver this experience with the goal of making roads safer by informing drivers of their phone distractions while behind the wheel. The distracted driving feedback comes from CMT’s smartphone telematics platform that infers distraction from sensor data, user engagement and behavioral science. This feedback provided via the app will help show drivers how to become safer behind the wheel.

“Focus groups have shown us that people want to be safer drivers. The goal of providing distracted driving feedback is to inform drivers on the frequency of this behavior and hopefully reduce phone distractions behind the wheel,” said Nationwide’s Teresa Scharn, vice president of personal lines product development. “Nationwide has taken a strong stance on distracted driving and now we’re able to provide real feedback to drivers through our SmartRide mobile app by partnering with CMT.”

SmartRide is Nationwide’s usage-based insurance program that gives personalized feedback to help drivers make safe driving decisions, earning an instant 10% discount at sign-up and the potential to earn up to a 40% discount the safer they drive. The distracted driving feedback will demonstrate ways for drivers to become safer behind the wheel but will not be a factor used in the discount. CMT analysis of billions of miles traveled by millions of drivers indicates that distracted driving feedback and user engagement can be impactful, with the top 30% of drivers on their platform reducing their phone distraction by 39% after 30 days3.

“Our partnership with Nationwide on SmartRide is a key step on our mission to make roads safer by making drivers better,” said Hari Balakrishnan, Co-Founder and CTO of CMT. “Our smartphone telematics platform helps drivers understand and reduce their risky and distracted driving practices.

Nationwide launched its telematics journey in 2011 with SmartRide, and in 2016 SmartRide added its mobile application option. SmartRide is available in 46 states and D.C. In February of 2019, Nationwide launched SmartMiles®, a true pay-per-mile auto insurance solution to save low-mileage drivers money. SmartMiles is currently available in 32 states and will continue to expand. Earlier this year, Nationwide CEO Kirt Walker announced the company’s advocacy for all fifty states to adopt hands-free, primary enforcement laws to curb distracted driving. States that have adopted these laws have seen a 15 percent decrease in fatalities. Nationwide is also seeking the adoption of model legislation by NCOIL, the National Council of Insurance Legislators, as part of its efforts.