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Distracted driving Research

The problem

The proportion of U.S. drivers witnessed visibly manipulating hand-held devices while driving has doubled since 2010 (NHTSA 2014), despite the fact that 97% of Americans know this is dangerous (AT&T 2012) and texting while driving is illegal in all but four states. Current policies to curb cellphone use while driving have had limited impact because they do not address the underlying impulsivity (Hayashi, 2015) that causes drivers to continue to engage in this behavior despite knowing it is against their best interests (Delgado 2016).

trial 1

Comparative Effectiveness of Financial Incentives and Nudges to Reduce Cellphone Use While Driving Among UBI Auto Policy Holders

In partnership with Progressive Auto Insurance and TrueMotion, we conducted a randomized, control trial evaluating the comparative effectiveness of social comparison and financial incentive interventions with customers of Progressive’s mobile phone usage-based insurance policy. 

our approach


Participants are customers of Progressive Auto Insurance usage-based insurance rating program.


Users download the mobile monitoring app on their smartphone and it collects telematics data including active cellphone use.


Some participants were provided financial incentives for meeting their "hands free" driving goals.

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Some participants were provided weekly feedback on how their active phone use compared to other drivers like them.

Funded by the Federal Highway Administration listing: NCT03833219

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