News | Safest Driver Contest

Seattle’s Safest Driver: Changing Behavior for the Better

AARP Washington
April 13, 2018

What does it take to change behavior behind the wheel?

Well, apparently an app that tracks your every move. Friendly competition and cash prizes don’t hurt either.

In November 2017, the Seattle Department of Transportation kicked off an 8-week Seattle’s Safest Driver competition, in partnership with PEMCO Insurance and Cambridge Mobile Telematics. The goal was to improve driver behavior and increase awareness of Seattle’s Vision Zero efforts to end traffic deaths and serious injuries on city streets by 2030.

In Seattle, we see an average of 13,000 crashes per year that result in close to 20 people losing their lives and another 150 being seriously injured. These are our friends, family members, and neighbors, and we think one death is one too many, so we’re looking for the many ways we can work toward better behavior.

There’s an app for that

We set out to see how we could use technology for good. Turns out, the device that contributes to a growing trend around distracted driving might also play a key role in turning that behavior around.

Once you download and turn on your location, the app tracks driving, transit, ferry, and bike trips. Using GPS and fancy math, it can track speeding, phone distraction, harsh braking, acceleration, and cornering.

After completing a driving trip, you get a score based on those categories and see how you rank amongst others. Higher scores put you in the running for bi-weekly prizes and a grand prize of $2,000 cash.

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