The Lifesavers National Conference on Highway Safety Priorities was held March 31-April 2, 2019 in Louisville, Kentucky. Safe-D student Sirajum Munira from Texas A&M University presented research results from Safe-D Project TTI-01-01: Analysis of an Incentive-Based Smartphone App for Young Drivers.
Ms. Munira was selected as a Traffic Safety Scholar, an award which aims to defray the costs of attending the conference. The title and abstract for Ms. Munira’s presentation is listed below:
Deterring Distractions & Aggressive Driving Behavior Using a Smartphone App: What Difference Does it Make?
Sirajum Munira and Russell Henk
Distraction and other risky driving behaviors are the leading causes of fatal crashes involving teen drivers. Using data obtained from a smartphone app developed for the Safest Young Driver Contest operated by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute’s Teens in the Driver Seat® program, our research investigated the nature and prevalence of distracted driving under real-world conditions and whether real-time feedback provided by the app and the opportunity for reward resulted in teens curtailing risky driving behavior. The app was made available to everyone but only users 15 to 24 of age were eligible for prizes. An analysis was conducted on three months of data that accounted for 8111 trips logged from 138 teen users. The app detected the car driver’s phone use while driving along with other aggressive driving events including harsh acceleration, hard braking, and cornering. Statistical analysis to investigate the difference in driving behavior between the teen driver’s’ first and last 10 trips were performed. We found that feedback and incentives resulted in a significant decrease in phone use while driving among female users and users of age 15 to 17. This research adds valuable insights into the scope and characteristics of distracted drivers and innovative solutions for addressing the problem.