SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and PEMCO Mutual Insurance have announced the winner of the 2019 Seattle’s Safest Driver contest and presented Scott Hogan, a professional semi-truck driver from Seattle, with a $5,000 cash grand prize for exemplary safe driving. During the last four weeks of the competition, which was the competition’s grand prize eligibility period, Hogan logged more than 1,800 miles and maintained a perfect score.
“Seattle’s Safest Driver was a great contest, and I am thrilled to be this year’s winner. It brought me back to my roots and memories of my father and grandfather teaching me to drive,” said Hogan. “I’m proud to have over 3 million crash-free miles and feel good about practicing safe driving every day.”
More than 2,100 people downloaded the Seattle’s Safest Driver app which encouraged people to drive safely, gives feedback on risky driving habits, and provides the opportunity to be rewarded for taking transit or biking.
Throughout the competition, risky driving behavior decreased by an average of 25% across all users, which is expected to persist, as data from previous years show that safe driving habits learned during the contest have a lasting effect months after the competition ends. The resulting positive behavior change builds on Seattle’s strong safety record and supports the City’s Vision Zero initiative to end traffic deaths and serious injuries on city streets by 2030. The contest, which uses award-winning technology developed by Cambridge Mobile Telematics (CMT), ran from May 13 through July 7, 2019.
“We’re thrilled to see measurable behavior change, especially around the issues of speeding and distraction,” said Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) Director Sam Zimbabwe. “Through this competition, I’ve been encouraged to see our friends, families, and neighbors work together to make mindful changes to their driving habits and make Seattle’s streets safer for everyone.”
The Seattle’s Safest Driver app ranked participants behind the wheel on five key factors: rapid acceleration, harsh braking, sharp turns, speeding and phone distraction. Participants saw the greatest change in the speeding category: among the top 25% of users, speeding decreased 55% and held steady for a majority of the contest.
Across the board, there was a 45% reduction in speeding, and distracted driving due to phone use improved by nearly 9%, while risk due to sharp turns improved by 11%. Speeding and distracted driving remain two of the top causes of crashes in Seattle, making these improvements notable.
“PEMCO cares deeply about the safety and well-being of all Northwest community members – including people who drive, use transit, and walk and bike on Seattle streets. Through efforts like Seattle’s Safest Driver, we’re proud to team up on programs that make safety fun and accessible,” said Derek Wing, PEMCO spokesperson. “We look forward to crowning Scott as this year’s Seattle’s Safest Driver and highlighting his results, which all of us can achieve by being alert and looking out for our fellow travelers.”
Participants of this year’s competition had the chance to win prizes in a variety of categories on a biweekly basis, including best driver and least distracted driver. People who biked and rode transit could earn prizes, as well. These prizes were made possible thanks to support from AAA Washington, Lyft, Uber, Lime, car2go, Zipcar, and Rachel’s Ginger Beer.
Second place winner, and recipient of a $2,500 prize, is Michael Phillips from Seattle. Viviana Espindola, who is also from Seattle, received the third-place prize of $1,000. All grand prizes are being furnished by PEMCO, the competition’s primary sponsor the last two years.
During the first annual Seattle’s Safest Driver competition in 2018, the top 50% of participants exhibited a 20% decrease in phone distraction and a 16% decrease in speeding. Data showed those effects continued for at least three months following the completion of the contest, with a 32% reduction in speeding and a 26% reduction in phone distractions among those who started the contest with a score of less than 90.
“The contest’s demonstrated ability to reduce risk behind the wheel is a tangible gain for Seattleites,” said Ryan McMahon, CMT’s Vice President of Insurance. “This is proof that everyone can become a safer driver with the help of the technologies we at CMT are so passionate about.”
Successful results across the two contests indicate that behavior change is possible. This type of creative competition complements Seattle’s multifaceted Vision Zero efforts around designing safer streets, forming partnerships, and meaningfully engaging with people who travel in the City.
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 close to 13,000 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 Mutual Insurance is a Northwest company providing auto, home, renters and boat insurance. PEMCO is consistently recognized for outstanding service, employee wellness and social impact. PEMCO helps its communities thrive through Mutual Good programs that raise youths’ educational achievement levels; build stronger, greener environments; and increase safety at home, on the road and at play. PEMCO is known for its commitment to its mission: Free our communities to worry less and live more.
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.