Study: The Importance of Engagement in Safe Driving Programs

How user engagement with usage-based insurance programs impacts driver safety

The new study offers a comprehensive look at the crucial role user engagement in telematics programs plays in reducing road risk. Unlike prior research, the study evaluates multiple risky driving behaviors, including hard braking, distracted driving, and speeding while controlling for mileage.

The study follows the driving performance of 100,000 drivers enrolled in usage-based insurance programs in the US over the course of three months. 

Of the riskiest drivers, CMT researchers found that the most engaged dramatically improved their driving performance. From month one to month three, the riskiest drivers with the highest engagement improved distracted driving by 20%, hard braking by 9%, and speeding by 27%. By analyzing telematics data against 1,500 insurance claims, CMT researchers calculated that the improvement in driving performance among the riskiest drivers would result in a bodily injury claim reduction of 5.5%.


Driving is the most perilous daily undertaking for most Americans, underscoring the paramount importance of road safety. Telematics-enabled Usage-Based Insurance (UBI) financially incentivizes drivers to avoid dangerous behaviors by gathering sensor data and providing immediate feedback on risky behaviors, including hard braking, speeding, and distraction. Although specific financial UBI incentives for safe driving vary, some examples include discounts on insurance premiums and periodic monetary rewards. This research examines the impact of telematics-enabled UBI programs on driving behavior. Specifically, we explore changes in user behavior during UBI program participation and emphasize the crucial role of user engagement in enhancing safe driving behavior. Unlike prior research, this study assesses multiple risky driving behaviors, including hard braking, phone distraction, and speeding, while controlling for the primary risk factor, mileage. For the three risky behaviors considered, we establish the connection between program engagement and improved driving behavior, highlighting the importance of engagement in program design.

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