Massachusetts and New York’s long-standing rivalries have (mostly) been confined to the world of sports. But now a local company is tapping into that competition to encourage safer driving behavior.
The app uses technology from Cambridge Mobile Telematics to tap into a smartphone’s GPS and determine how fast the driver is traveling, as well as whether the brakes were applied too frequently or too hard.
The app can also measure a driver’s distracted driving behavior, such as if the phone was used to take a phone call or read a text message.
Following a trip, the app presents the motorist with their score, plus a breakdown of activity highlighting behaviors that the driver could work on to improve their score.
Users can post their scores to a leaderboard to track their progress and see how they stack up against friends and other drivers in their community.
This leaderboard is the key to EverDrive’s push for adoption.
“We think the competitive nature of the leaderboard makes people care more about driving,’’ said EverQuote executive vice president Andrew Ressler.
It’s also the inspiration for the competition pitting Massachusetts drivers against New York drivers. Ressler sees the sometimes tense relationship between the two states as an opportunity to encourage safer driving.
“We have strong roots in our company in New York and Massachusetts,’’ said Ressler. “We enjoy our rivalries in sports, and hear the same comments on our driving and New York’s driving. This adds to the fun of it.’’
To enter the contest, motorists in both states just need to download and start using the EverDrive app. The results will be based on users’ driving scores acquired over a two week period between June 12 and June 25.
The safest driver in one of the two states could win a $10,000 cash prize in June. The company will also award 40 runners-up with prizes worth $100 each. At a more local level, EverDrive will also recognize the safest drivers in 2,000 communities nationwide with prizes starting at $10.
In addition to the contests, EverDrive users will be entered into a sweepstakes every day they use the app. Prizes worth $100 will be awarded to 50 eligible users.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 32,675 traffic fatalities in 2014 and 2.34 million injuries. Ressler hopes the EverDrive app will reduce those statistics.
“I think the app has made safe driving fun and that can be cool,’’ said Ressler. “I don’t think that’s really existed before.’’
How much it costs to insure the most popular vehicles in Massachusetts (ordered from least to most popular):