Want to drive safer but always end up getting distracted by your phone? With the news that using your phone while driving will soon be punishable with far stricter penalties, you may want to correct those bad habits. But would you trust a phone app to help you use your phone less while driving?
UbiCar is a mobile app that essentially gamifies safe driving, giving you points for good driving and taking them away for bad driving. It'll also keep track of what areas you need to improve in most. For the competitive types, you can set up a leaderboard and compare your driving with all your friends. There's no need to use your phone while you're driving with UbiCar - it collects all the data it needs while running in the background.
From September 2018, just touching your phone while you're driving could be enough for NSW drivers to lose their license. The number of demerit points for using a phone while driving is set to increase from four to five this year, so drivers should probably brush up on the rules around phone use while driving now.
The concept is based on the idea that current enforcing of road rules relies too much on punishment of bad behaviour and not enough on incentivising good behaviour. The incentives come in the form of UbiCoins, which can be traded at the UbiStore for discounts at stores like Coles, Woolworths, Target, JB Hi-Fi and more.
Previous rollouts of the same technology in the US have led to reductions in distracted driving of up to 47 per cent, and hopes are it can do the same in Australia. And the problems we most need to work on?
"Surprisingly reckless cornering is a major problem, where a motorist takes a corner too quickly," UbiCar spokesperson Carolyn Batterton said. "Around a fifth of all fatal accidents take place on or around corners, similar numbers to fatal accidents caused by speeding and driver fatigue."
And if you're worried UbiCar are going to sell out your bad driving to the po-po, don't be. UbiCar protects driver privacy with "no personal identifiable data transmitted to any third party."
Would you take the steps to be a better driver if it meant a free Coles voucher in your inbox every now and again? Let us know what you think in the comments!