Drivers who avoid using mobile phones while behind the wheel may soon be rewarded, as a major insurer is trying to come up with a new app aimed to reduce the rising number of crashes caused by distracted drivers.
According to a US study by the Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety for Queensland, distracted driving accounts for one in four car crashes and is also said to incur the Australian economy almost $7 billion a year in losses.
“Our claims data shows us that road collisions are on the rise, and we know that driver distractions like mobile phones are a significant contributor to this increase,” James Orchard, EGM innovation for IAG
told The Australian Financial Review.
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In order to address the issue, IAG
has been testing and developing a smartphone app that will reward good driving behaviour.
“The app is premised on understanding whether or not you’ve used your phone in the car trip for any reason whatsoever,” Orchard told AFR.
has so far tested the app on 60 of its staff, with awards given to safer drivers.
“While the distracted driving app is still in the early stages of testing and development, there is the opportunity down the track for us to work with business partners from industries outside insurance, like fast-moving consumer goods and retail, to trial different rewards and incentives for customers,” Orchard told AFR.
“Anecdotal feedback is that the app has created a genuine change in their attitude to driving and discouraged them from reaching for their phone behind the wheel.”
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