HARTFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TRV) and its public policy division, the Travelers Institute, are warning drivers about the increased risk for distracted driving this summer. TrueMotion, the leading smartphone telematics platform, recently analyzed the behavior of more than 20,000 drivers from January 2017 to May 2018 and found that they spent less time looking at the road and more time looking at their phones during the months of June, July and August. Specifically, the findings indicate summertime drivers are distracted for an average of about 15 minutes of every hour they spend driving — an increase of nearly 10 percent when compared to the rest of the year.
“Summer road trips, vacations and holidays mean more people will be on the road, making it especially important to focus on driving and avoid distractions that could lead to accidents,” said Michael Klein, Executive Vice President and President of Personal Insurance at Travelers. “We launched our Every Second Matters initiative to educate people about the dangers of distracted driving and to share practical steps that can be taken to keep our roads safe.”
The summer months bring increased traffic from additional vehicles, as well as a higher number of pedestrians on the streets and more construction projects. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are 20 percent more miles driven in the summer months than in winter, and the months of June, July and August have 29 percent more roadway deaths than the winter months of December, January and February.
The Travelers Institute will discuss the dangers of distracted driving and the new data from TrueMotion on June 15 during its Every Second Matters symposium on Capitol Hill. The event will be co-hosted by the National Safety Council and the Road to Zero Coalition. Joan Woodward, Executive Vice President of Public Policy at Travelers and President of the Travelers Institute, will be joined at the event by Klein; Charlie Klauer, Research Scientist and Leader, Teen Risk and Injury Prevention Group, Virginia Tech Transportation Institute; Robert Molloy, Director for the Office of Highway Safety at the National Transportation Safety Board; and Jane Terry, Senior Director for Government Affairs at the National Safety Council.
“When you look away from the road, for even a few seconds, you lose the time needed to react properly to your surroundings,” said Klauer. “Our research shows the problem is only getting worse, so we need to continue talking about this in hopes that eventually distracted driving becomes as unacceptable as not wearing a seat belt or drinking and driving.”
“The risk of distracted driving is real and yet entirely preventable,” said TrueMotion CEO Ted Gramer. “Our hope is that we can make a difference by continuously emphasizing the dangers we pose to ourselves and others any time we aren’t 100 percent focused while driving.”
“It’s important that we use this information to bring more attention to the problem,” said Molloy. “We should have the conversation with our friends and family, encouraging each other to stay focused while driving, and speak up when others are engaging in risky behaviors behind the wheel.”
The Travelers Institute also recently issued a report, Every Second Matters: A conversation starter on reducing distracted driving risk, which explores recent trends in motor vehicle collisions and provides safe driving tips. For more information about distracted driving and summer travel safety, visit the Travelers Prepare & Prevent website.
TrueMotion, the leading smartphone telematics platform, analyzed the driving behavior of 20,000+ drivers over 8.4 million trips using its free distracted driving mobile app, TrueMotion Family, from January 2017 through May 2018. The company collects smartphone sensor data and uses machine learning to determine when a person is driving and if he or she is actively distracted by texting, making phone calls or using apps like Facebook versus passively distracted with apps for music and maps.
About the Travelers Institute
The Travelers Institute, the public policy division of The Travelers Companies, Inc., engages in discussion and analysis of public policy topics of importance to the insurance marketplace and to the financial services industry more broadly. The Travelers Institute draws upon the industry expertise of Travelers’ senior management, as well as the technical expertise of many of Travelers’ underwriters, risk managers and other experts to provide information, analysis and solutions to public policymakers and regulators. Travelers is a leading provider of property casualty insurance for auto, home and business. For more information, visit www.travelers.com.
The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TRV) is a leading provider of property casualty insurance for auto, home and business. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Travelers has approximately 30,000 employees and generated revenues of approximately $29 billion in 2017. For more information, visit www.travelers.com.