As distracted driving increasingly is cited as the cause of traffic accidents, Root Insurance announced that new customers who are not distracted drivers will be rewarded with savings.
With the revised pricing model, drivers who avoid using a mobile device while behind the wheel can save up to an additional 10 percent on their insurance quote, according to the company.
“According to our recent ‘Root for Safety’ study, 80 percent of American drivers admitted to using a mobile device while driving – an absolutely terrifying majority,” said Alex Timm, co-founder and CEO of Root Insurance. “If this incentive for drivers to stay focused behind the wheel helps even just a few drivers avoid accidents, then we are steps closer to making our roads safer.”
Root’s platform operates through a mobile app that uses smartphone technology and data science to understand actual driving behavior. In addition to leveraging sensors and telematics data in a smartphone, the latest iteration of the Root app can recognize unusual phone patterns such as when and how frequently someone is engaging with their smartphone while driving, according to the insurer.
In 2017, Root began testing ways to track texting while driving by using the gyroscope and accelerometer within the mobile phone to identify any unusual vibration patterns that were indicative of significant cellphone use while driving. As part of its expansion program, the company began incorporating the insights into its underwriting algorithm. Since then, Root has tracked more than 1.3 billion total trips, according to the company.
“With more than a year of testing under our belts, the technology has come a long way and will continue to evolve,” said Joe Plattenburg, Root director of telematics data science. “We collect millions of data points every second, so we’ve learned a lot about driving behavior and have been able to refine our model accordingly.”