Statement of Purpose We conducted a randomized trial (#NCT03833219) of behavioral interventions to reduce handheld phone use while driving among 2,108 customers from 42 states in a usage-based insurance program (Progressive Insurance Snapshot Mobile). We hypothesized that behaviorally designed incentives would be more effective than a standard insurance incentive.
Methods/Approach Participants were randomized to 6 arms in a 50-day intervention period: (1) control (usual care); (2) social comparison feedback; (3) standard end of rating period incentive (max $50); (4) standard end of rating period incentive (max $50) + social comparison feedback; (5) weekly, loss framed incentive (max $50) + social comparison feedback; and (6) weekly, loss framed incentive (max $100) + social comparison feedback. We used fractional regression to compare handheld phone use (seconds/hour of driving) measured by the Snapshot Mobile app between intervention arms versus the usual care arm.
Results Compared with usual care, neither social comparison feedback alone, or a standard incentive (max $50) alone lead to a statistically significant reduction in phone use. However, when the standard incentive was paired with social comparison feedback, handheld phone use was reduced by -31 (95% CI: - 74 to -13) seconds/hour of driving. The group assigned to a weekly, loss-framed incentive (max $50) paired with social comparison feedback experienced the largest reduction in handheld phone (-63 [95% CI: -95 to -31] seconds/hour of driving).
Conclusions In a national usage-based auto insurance program, augmenting standard financial incentives with weekly feedback comparing a driver’s phone use to other customers, and redesigning incentives to be delivered more frequently and to leverage loss-aversion reduced phone use while driving.
Significance and Contributions to Injury and Violence Prevention Science Given that American drivers average 300 hours of driving per year, behaviorally designed incentives for reducing phone use while driving have major potential for public health impact.
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