A contest to determine Canada’s safest driver has concluded, and the winners have been announced.
The first Canada’s Safest Driver contest is run by national charity Parachute, with support from insurer Desjardins. Desjardins’ support is part of its commitment to Vision Zero road safety initiatives.
The contest ran from October 01, 2020 to November 26, 2020. To participate, drivers downloaded a proprietary app developed by Cambridge Mobile Telematics (CMT), which tracked five indicators of safe and responsible driving: speed, braking, acceleration, cornering, and phone distraction.
Julian Piccioli of Ottawa, ON was named Canada’s Safest Driver for achieving the highest score during the period. In addition to winning the grand prize of $10,000, Piccioli also won $500 for scoring highest on the “smooth braking” criteria, and another $500 for the Early Bird Prize for highest overall score during the contest’s first two weeks.
The second prize winner of $5,000 was David Wakulich of Victoria, BC, and the third prize winner of $2,000 was Timothy Schewe from Nanoose Bay, BC.
But there was more to the contest than simply recognizing safe drivers – CMT assessed the data collected from participants during and even after the contest to learn insights into how safer driving can be better promoted.
CMT’s analysis of participants’ scores found that during the first half of the contest, drivers generally improved their driving behaviours. However, majority of the participating drivers lapsed back to their old driving habits when the contest ended – particularly when it came to aggressive driving (speeding and acceleration), and phone distraction.
Other key findings by CMT include:
- During the first few days, risk factors were reduced by 13%, but by day 28 this dropped to 3%. By day 56, participants returned to pre-contest risk levels.
- The bottom 25% of users showed sustained improvement, with a 30% decrease in risky behaviours by day 56.
- Speeding and harsh acceleration were the biggest risks during the contest – an 11% and a 6% increase, respectively, were recorded during the contest. Meanwhile, phone distractions saw a 30% decrease during the contest, but by day 56 it saw a 5% increase.
“From the contest results, we see that when drivers pay attention, they are able to be better, safer drivers," said Parachute president and CEO Pamela Fuselli, who added that the charity wants to motivate people to continue these improved behaviours even when money is no longer involved.
"It is great to see drivers rewarded for driving safely and for doing their part to keep themselves and others safe on our roads," commented Desjardins General Insurance Group president and chief operating officer Valérie Lavoie. "But we must be vigilant when it comes to road safety. In order to adopt and sustain safe driving habits, we must continue to educate, raise awareness and encourage drivers to put down their phones, slow down and stay focused on our roads."