New Competition to Find “Seattle’s Safest Driver”
The competition is part of Seattle’s Vision Zero efforts to end traffic deaths and serious injuries on city streets by 2030. The Seattle’s Safest Driver competition is open to residents who travel into Seattle from the four-county area (King, Pierce, Snohomish, and Kitsap). Participants will compete for $15,000 in prizes by downloading the app and practicing safe driving. The competition starts today and runs through January 14, 2018.
During the Seattle’s Safest Driver competition, participants can challenge friends, see how they rank in their community, and win prizes for a variety of categories on a biweekly basis. For example, people will be rewarded for being the most improved driver and the least distracted driver. The person crowned “Seattle’s Safest Driver” will win a grand prize of $2,000!
While Seattle is one of the safest cities in the country, more than 10,000 crashes each year result in an average of 20 lives lost and more than 150 serious injuries. Speeding and distracted driving are among the top contributing factors of fatal crashes, and Seattle has seen a nearly 200 percent increase in distracted driving over the past few years.
Data shows that attentive drivers can help save lives. But, distractions abound: according to PEMCO Insurance’s NW Poll, nearly half of Washington state drivers admitted to using their cellphones while driving in 2016.
Scott Kubly, Seattle Department of Transportation Director
“There’s no cure-all for road safety. Reaching our Vision Zero goal is going to take time and a variety of tactics. The Seattle’s Safest Driver app is a great way to actually shift behavior behind the wheel, helping make Seattle’s streets even safer.”
The City is teaming up with PEMCO Insurance to incentivize and reward better driving behavior, and to encourage participation in the competition.
Derek Wing, PEMCO Insurance
“PEMCO is proud to sponsor Seattle’s Safest Driver. As a Northwest company based in Seattle, we’re committed to people in our community and their overall safety. Encouraging safe driving behaviors is a perfect fit for who we are and what we’re passionate about.”
The contest is modeled after a successful effort in Boston, which saw dramatic reductions in phone use and speeding among 1,100 competitors whose phone distraction dropped by 47 percent and their speeding dropped by almost 35 percent. The app, developed by CMT, provides feedback to drivers on five metrics for each trip they take: rapid acceleration, harsh braking, sharp turns, speeding, and phone distraction. Once a trip is completed, the driver receives an alert with their score for that trip, feedback on the different factors, and helpful tips to improve in the future.
Hari Balakrishnan, Cambridge Mobile Telematics founder
“We are delighted to power Seattle’s Safest Driver Competition with a smartphone telematics app based on our DriveWell program. The app provides accurate feedback on driving quality and motivates drivers to become better with social leaderboards, driving tips, and prizes. With this initiative, drivers in Seattle will become more aware of their distracted driving and excessive speeding, and reduce various risky behaviors within only a few days.”
Are you Seattle’s Safest Driver? Download the app, enter the competition, or learn more at:
www.seattle.gov/safestdriver. To learn more about Vision Zero, visit www.seattle.gov/visionzero.
About Vision Zero
Vision Zero is Seattle’s plan to end traffic deaths and serious injuries on city streets by 2030. While Seattle is one of the safest cities in the country, we still see more than 10,000 crashes a year, resulting in an average of 20 people losing their lives and over 150 people seriously injured. These are our friends, neighbors, and family members. Traffic collisions aren’t accidents – they’re preventable through smarter street design, targeted enforcement, and thoughtful public engagement. Together, we can make Seattle’s streets safer for everyone.
About PEMCO Insurance
PEMCO Insurance is a true Northwest company providing auto, home, and boat insurance to our neighbors since 1949. People are the heart of our business. They can depend on us to anticipate and support their changing needs. For more information, visit www.pemco.com.
About Cambridge Mobile Telematics
Cambridge Mobile Telematics (CMT) makes roads and drivers safer around the world. Headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and founded in 2010 by two MIT professors and experienced entrepreneurs, CMT pioneered smartphone-based telematics and behavioral analytics, including new approaches to usage and behavior-based insurance. CMT’s award-winning DriveWell program is now used in numerous successful safe-driving apps and programs in many countries around the globe, with a proven record of changing driver behavior: an average reduction of 35 percent in phone distraction, 20 percent in hard braking, and 20 percent in at-risk speeding, all within less than 30 days of drivers using the app. For more information, please visit cmtelematics.com and follow @cmtelematics on Twitter.
Seattle Department of Transportation
Sue Romero, 206-684-8548
Senior Public Relations Specialist