A new app from data-analytics company Censio is one backseat driver that people might actually learn to like. In addition to making you a better driver, the app may also save you money. Allston-based Censio created the app in an effort to reduce distracted driving and the millions of annual traffic accidents that result from this dangerous behavior. In a recent phone interview, company president Kevin Ferrell said, “Our purpose and the mission of the company is to help drivers and people around the world become better, safer drivers.” Contact a Massachusetts Accident Attorney.
So, how does it work?
Censio is a phone-based app that tracks a user’s driving habits by tapping into his or her smartphone sensors. By doing so, the app can track the driver’s speed, positioning, frequency of braking, level of distraction, and much more. Censio is unique because it doesn’t rely on connected car devices. These devices, such as Zubie and Automatic, that require connection to the diagnostic port of a vehicle, can only base their tips on the car’s actual movements. Censio goes a step further by indicating whether a driver uses his or her smartphone to send a text or make a call during a session, the frequency of hard-braking, and how often the car is being driven during “high risk” times of day.
Distracted driving is responsible for nine deaths and more than 1,100 injuries every day, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports on its website that there were a total of 3,154 distracted driving related deaths in 2013 alone.
“I thought I was a Good Driver, Most People Do”
Once data is collected from the driver, Censio’s app issues a score between 1 and 100. In addition to the score, detailed reports show the driver where improvements can be made and how he or she compares to the national average. “The biggest thing in…changing behavior is showing what ‘good’ is, and ‘not so good’ is,” Farrell said. “At the end of the day, what we’re trying to do is have a big impact on driver safety and the app – the Fitbit of driving – is all about doing just that.” Farrell believes that driver awareness is key to changing behaviors, and he bases this belief on personal experience. Censio helped Farrell recognize his own poor driving habits, including distracted behaviors and excessive braking. “I thought I was a good driver, most people do,” he said. However, his score showed that he could use some improvements.
So, what about the financial savings?
Censio partnered with Progressive Insurance in September to offer savings based on the personal driving habits of insureds. Alternatively, riskier driving habits can result in higher rates.
Progressive is also using Censio’s app to develop the software for Snapshot, the company’s usage-based insurance system that offers discounts to drivers based on their personal driving habits. On its website, the insurance provider acknowledges that data that reveals a pattern of “riskier driving habits” can indicate the greater likelihood of an accident and may result in higher rates. Snapshot, Progressive’s original program for monitoring driving habits, required the use of a device connected to the vehicle’s diagnostic port. Collected information was then mailed to the company. Censio’ app, on the other hand, requires no hardware or cumbersome reporting hurdles. The driver simply has to have the smartphone in the car while driving, and information is downloaded directly to the company. This new technology has the potential to positively change driving behaviors and save money at the same time.
Altman & Altman, LLP – Boston’s Motor Vehicle Accident Attorneys
Distracted driving is responsible for thousands of deaths every year, and this learned behavior is especially prevalent among young adults and new drivers. It will take some time to determine whether Censio and similar apps will have an impact on driving-related deaths, but the data looks good. If you’ve been injured as a result of distracted driving, the motor vehicle accident attorneys at Altman & Altman, LLP can help. We have an impressive track record of obtaining compensation for our clients. You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, property damage, lost wages, and transportation costs. Don’t go through this alone. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP today for a free consultation about your case.