Mobile App May Start Documenting Whether You Text While Driving

In order to increase road safety, a tech startup is working with insurance companies to monitor unsafe driving habits. 

Two-thirds of young people engage in distracting activity while driving, according to a recent survey by Arity, an Allstate tech startup. But soon there will mobile apps to prevent dangerous driving habits. 

According to Grady Irey, the Vice President of data science at Arity, the company conducted the survey to help people not only be aware of how dangerous distracted driving is, but to help them be aware of their own behavior.  

The report on the survey shows that young people, meaning individuals between the ages of 18 and 28, are more likely to engage in distracting activities like texting, watching videos, reading and sending emails, while behind the wheel. The study also found that 80 percent of drivers believe that they are above average drivers.

Drivers viewed texting as the most dangerous activity to do while driving, according to the study. Although drivers often notice other drivers texting, fewer admit to doing it themselves.  Drivers generally don’t believe that they can type, read, or watch videos while driving, but they're guilty of it themselves, the survey found.

Arity is taking its findings and working with insurance companies to help develop a mobile app which will work like a Fitbit for the car and will analyze driving practices such as extreme braking and speeding in order to determine how many times a driver is engaging in distracting activities. The goal is to make roads safer and to save money, said Irey. Safer driving will result in lower premiums.

National General is the first insurance company outside of Allstate that Arity has begun working with to develop such an app.