Telematics provider Cambridge Mobile Telematics (CMT) announced a partnership with ‘Teens in the Driver Seat’ to host the Safest Young Driver competition. From April 16 through May 31, drivers aged 15 through 24 can use CMT’s DriveWell app, receive feedback on their driving habits, and compete against each other for the safest driver title to win prizes like gift cards and electronics.
Car crashes are the number one killer of teens in America and what’s more, for every American teen killed in a car crash, 100 more are left injured. Teens in the Driver Seat® (TDS) was developed by the Texas A&M Transport Institute in 2002 with the goal of creating a peer-to-peer safety program for America’s youth. This competition leverages the extensive network of schools and student teams established by the TDS Program over the last 15+ years and is designed to encourage teens to drive their best every time they are behind the wheel, and avoid poor driving behaviors, including distractions from cell phones and other passengers, driving at night and speeding.
By downloading the CMT-powered DriveWell app, teens will receive feedback on their driving behavior for each trip; in particular on phone distraction, speeding, harsh acceleration, hard braking, and cornering. The app will also allow younger drivers to compete on leaderboards and earn a variety of badges, making safer driving a fun and engaging experience. The best young drivers will get a chance to earn a variety of rewards, including weekly random sweepstakes drawings and grand prizes such as Visa gift cards, virtual reality headsets, and Amazon Echo Dots.
Similar safe driving initiatives have shown promising results in the past. Earlier this year, the CMT-powered Seattle Safest Driver contest garnered significant improvements in driving behavior. The top 25 percent users saw 35 percent reduction in phone distraction, 30 percent reduction in harsh braking, and 28 percent reduction in speeding. In a survey commissioned by CMT, 83 percent of respondents said they would be more inclined to limit their mobile device usage if it was tied a reward. These results show that constant feedback and rewards lead to improvements in driving behavior.
Distracted driving is a growing epidemic, with 36 percent of U.S. drives today having significant distraction, and teens are particularly susceptible to being distracted by their phones while driving. With the introduction of safer driving initiatives, like the Safest Young Driver Contest, we can help our teens be safer behind the wheel by making it a rewarding and engaging experience.
“We’re excited to partner with Teens in the Driver Seat to highlight the importance of safe driving among the new generation of drivers,” said Hari Balakrishnan, Founder and Chief Technology Officer at Cambridge Mobile Telematics. “We’ve seen significant improvement in driving habits around the country thanks to city-wide safe driving programs in Boston and Seattle, and look forward to extending this movement across generations, as well.”
The grand prize for the four safest young drivers, based on overall driving score, will include Whataburger for a year, a virtual reality headset and two Amazon Echo Dots. Drivers who have received the top leaderboard rankings for no distraction, safe speed, safe braking and safe acceleration will also receive $200 Visa gift cards.
“Partnering with CMT allows us to leverage the technology these teens already use to encourage better driving,” said Russell Henk, creator and Program Manager of Teens in the Driver Seat. “Taking advantage of their familiarity with their smartphones is a great way to turn potential danger into a solution, making the roads safer one young driver at a time.”