It’s pretty obvious who the unsafe drivers are. We see them daily, texting behind the wheel, ignoring the “no-turn-on-red” signs, cutting us off on Interstate 5.
The safe drivers don’t attract as much attention, but now there’s an effort to highlight the careful among us.
A new competition, called Seattle’s Safest Driver, aims to identify drivers who follow the law and exercise caution, using an app that measures speed, acceleration, braking, cornering, and phone distraction.
The contest, open to residents of King, Pierce, Snohomish, and Kitsap Counties, is based on a similar effort in Boston, which the Seattle Department of Transportation says engaged nearly 5,000 people and helped reduce phone distraction by 47 percent among the most active users. Speeding declined almost 35 percent.
SDOT says almost 3,000 people have downloaded the GPS-enabled app, which runs in the background and doesn’t require a driver to do anything but focus on the road. It automatically starts recording a trip and then gives drivers a score when they’re done. A map shows where someone drove over the speed limit or couldn’t resist the temptation to pick up their phone and scroll through some texts.
A list ranks the top users, who now number in the hundreds. To win prizes, a portion of trips must occur within Seattle limits. Participants with the best stats can win Amazon gift cards.
What about your data and what are they doing with it?
SDOT says the city can link your email address with your driving score for the sole purpose of identifying and notifying winners.
Cambridge Mobile Telematics, the developers of Seattle’s Safest Driver, collects email addresses, zip codes, phone sensor data, location data, and badges earned through the app, SDOT said.
“CMT collects driver scores and data at the individual level, then they anonymize data within 60 days after the competition ends so that it cannot be used for any other purpose, and finally they provide the City with summarized reports at the zip code level,” SDOT said in a contest explainer.