City launches Competition to find ‘L.A.’s Safest Driver’

LOS ANGELES — The City of Los Angeles recently announced the launch of the L.A.’s Safest Driver competition, a new effort to reduce distracted driving on city streets.

To participate in the eight-week competition, Angelenos can download an app on their smartphone that measures speed, acceleration, braking, cornering, and phone use while driving. Other cities have participated in similar competitions, including Boston, Seattle, and San Antonio.

“If we are going to eliminate traffic fatalities and serious accidents on our streets, we need to put an end to the epidemic of distracted driving,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Safe driving is a reward unto itself, but some friendly competition is a great way to drive home the importance of keeping our minds and eyes on the road.”

The contest is sponsored by USAA, a financial services company that serves the military community and their families. The company recently sponsored San Antonio’s Safest Driver contest, and what followed was a significant reduction in unsafe driving behaviors — including a 15% reduction in distracted driving and a 46% reduction in speeding.

“USAA has a long-standing commitment to roadway safety and encouraging and rewarding safe driving habits for our members and the public,” said Randy Termeer, senior vice president and general manager, auto insurance. “By investing in safe driving programs today in cities like L.A., we continue to honor that commitment and create safer roadway conditions throughout the country.”

The app was developed by Cambridge Mobile Telematics (CMT), a company that specializes in technology that makes the world’s roads safer using mobile sensing.

“CMT is dedicated to making roads safer in LA and around the world,” said William Powers, co-founder and chief executive officer at CMT. “Our smartphone-based DriveWell platform helps individuals improve their driving by providing feedback on key elements such as phone distraction and speeding that can lead directly to accidents. We are proud to work in partnership with USAA and the City of L.A. to improve road safety.”

The contest runs until July 26, and is open to people 18 years and older who currently reside or regularly travel through the L.A. area. Prizes totaling $70,000 will be awarded for safe driving behaviors, including:

  • Safest Overall Driver: $20,000
  • Safest Military/Veteran Driver: $10,000
  • Least Distracted Driver: $7,500
  • Safest Youth Driver: $7,500
  • Safest Commercial Driver: $10,000

The full list of prize categories, an app demo, frequently asked questions and the contest’s official rules can be found at www.LASafestDriver.com.