(Image source: Driver Technologies.)
In Plato’s Republic, Socrates tells the story of the Ring of Gyges, which makes its bearer invisible. A Lydian shepherd who finds the ring goes on to seduce the king’s wife, murder the king and take control of his kingdom. Socrates deduces from the story that “no one is just of his own will but only from constraint.” In all likelihood, J.R.R. Tolkein read the Republic, as he tells a very similar story with a very similar moral. No doubt people often also feel compelled to do the right thing whether anybody’s looking or not, but they’re likely to be on their best behavior if they’re being watched. This is at least one of the reasons for using dash cams to reduce risky driving in commercial fleets as a loss control measure. Last week we shared a conversation with Cover Whale president Kevin Abramson, who reported that the company’s study of its internal data showed a reduction of 7 loss ratio for insureds who used dash cams. We see the hypothesis further supported through internal research from Driver Technologies, Inc. (Brooklyn, New York), an AI-based mobility tech company.
Driver Technologies analyzed internal data showing that using the Driver dash cam and safety app helped coach drivers to implement safe driving behaviors and stop dangerous habits such as tailgating, blowing stop signs, hard braking and speeding. The vendor’s research analyzed the driving patterns of 17,000 drivers after using the Driver next-gen dash cam for 20 hours and found that the users were:
11x less likely to speed
4x less likely to run stops signs
3x less likely to tailgate
3x less likely to hard brake
The Driver app allows its users to video record their trip while receiving safety alerts such as forward collision, driver drowsiness and distraction warnings while also offering cloud-based video storage, roadside assistance services, coaching, and scoring capabilities. Driver Technologies partners with insurance carriers to encourage drivers to implement the Driver app to connect telematics and dash cam video capabilities. However, the app is generally available and users need not use it in the context of an insurance relationship.
Driver derives anonymized road safety and risk information from the app and analyzes it to develop insights into the types of improvements needed via crowdsourced Road Segment Data (RSD) using telematics, computer vision data and images to study the details of a safety situation.
More than 3,000,000 vehicle accidents in the U.S. involve phone use every year, and Driver Technology’s mission is to take the phone out of driver’s hands and instead put it to a better purpose—providing the technology to make them safer drivers, according to Rashid Galadanci, CEO and co-founder, Driver Technologies. “We’re excited to share new data that shows our technology, which includes how telematics and computer vision help coach drivers around the country to implement safe driving behavior to help reduce accidents and improve overall road safety for drivers and their passengers,” he comments.
According to research by the CDC, nine people in the U.S. die every day from crashes that involve a distracted driver. However, the Kiefer Foundation, which is dedicated to ending distracted driving and all associated traffic deaths and injuries, believes the actual number is much higher. Many law enforcement and insurance professionals agree that distracted driving statistics are significantly under-reported and think that the actual number is closer to 50 per day.
To combat distracted driving, one of the three main pillars at the Kiefer Foundation is to encourage the use of distraction-reducing automotive technology such as safe driver apps, Apple Car Play and Android Auto.
“At the Kiefer Foundation, we believe the cell phone is a significant contributor to the increase in distracted driving,” comments Steve Kiefer, chairman, Kiefer Foundation. “Our mission is to bring an end to distracted driving—we believe that cell phone-based technologies, such as the Driver app, are one element that can help bring an end to this dangerous behavioral issue.”