SEATTLE, May 10, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Do you have what it takes to be crowned Seattle's Safest Driver? The second annual app-based safe driving competition kicked off today through a partnership with the City of Seattle, PEMCO Insurance, and Cambridge Mobile Telematics (CMT).
Seattle's Safest Driver participants can once again compete for cash prizes by downloading the app and practicing safe driving techniques, while challenging friends to see how they rank behind the wheel. The person who is deemed Safest Driver will win a grand prize of $5,000 – more than double the amount of last year's jackpot.
The goal of the competition is to spark positive behavior change and build awareness around Seattle's Vision Zero effort to end traffic deaths and serious injuries on city streets by 2030.
"Through efforts like Seattle's Safest Driver, we can change behavior for the better, build on our city's safety record, and get closer to Vision Zero," said Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) Director Sam Zimbabwe. "I'm excited to see how I stack up against my friends and family, and I encourage everyone to participate. We each have an opportunity and responsibility to look out for ourselves and others, so everyone in Seattle and around the region can get around safely."
The Safest Driver app, developed by Boston-based CMT, helps participants track a range of safe driving practices including 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.
Data from last year's contest show the app effectively convinced drivers to change behaviors for the better: the top 50 percent of users exhibited a 20 percent decrease in phone distraction and a 16 percent decrease in speeding. Distraction and speeding are two of the top causes of crashes in Seattle.
What's more, among those who started the contest with a score of less than 90 – meaning they had the most to gain in terms of improving their driving – there was a 26 percent reduction in phone distraction and a 32 percent reduction in speeding over the course of the competition and for three months after it ended.
"Seattle's Safest Driver is a great fit for PEMCO's goals to keep everyone on the road safe, and we're glad to be part of the competition again this year," said Derek Wing, PEMCO Insurance communications manager. "As a locally based mutual insurance company, we're passionate about helping our friends and neighbors practice safe driving habits and we were encouraged by last year's great results. We look forward to seeing who will be crowned Safest Driver this year."
Seattle's current champion is Russell Lebert, who won the 2018 grand prize and believes the contest is an easy, rewarding way for people to improve their driving behaviors.
"Participating in the Seattle's Safest Driver contest was a genuinely rewarding experience that reinforced the safe driving habits we all know we should be doing, but are easy to let slip with all the distractions around us," Lebert said. "Even after the contest ended, I kept up the positive driving habits I practiced during the competition. I'm excited to see how others fare this year. May the safest driver win!"
Participants will have a chance to win prizes for a variety of categories on a biweekly basis, including best driver and least distracted driver. While the competition is focused on safe driving, transit riders and people who bike can get in on the effort, too, with special rewards.
New this year, the winner will also earn bragging rights in two cities, as Seattle drivers will face off against participants in the Boston area, who will all test their safe driving skills through CMT's app.
"At CMT, our work is dedicated to helping those behind the wheel understand their personalized driving behaviors so they can safely get to their destinations and avoid crashes," said Hari Balakrishnan, CMT's co-founder and chief technology officer. "Through programs across the world, we have seen how powerful feedback can be in helping to reinforce safe driving. CMT is delighted to work with the City of Seattle and PEMCO for the second time to continue the mission of making our roads safer."
Seattle's Safest Driver starts May 13 and runs through July 7, 2019. It is open to residents age 17 and up in the four-county area (King, Pierce, Snohomish, Kitsap) who travel into Seattle.
Are you Seattle's Safest Driver? To download the app and enter the competition, or just to learn more about it, visit 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) mission is to make the world's roads safer. CMT's DriveWell platform measures driving quality, scores driving performance, incentivizes safer driving, and provides crash and claims services for insurers, rideshares, and fleets. Since its first product launch in 2012 that pioneered mobile usage-based insurance, CMT has become the world's leading mobile telematics and analytics company with its phone-only and phone+Tag solutions. CMT's award-winning DriveWell platform is used by top insurers, commercial fleets, cellular carriers, and other organizations in more than 20 countries, improving safety for millions of users. To learn more, please visit cmtelematics.com and follow CMT on Twitter @cmtelematics.
Seattle Department of Transportation
Firmani + Associates Inc.
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