An app to earn discounts for staying off your phone while driving
This App Saves Lives (TASL) is a mobile app designed to reduce distracted driving caused by cell phone use, a dangerous behavior responsible for more than 350,000 deaths a year, according to the World Health Organization.
In exchange for staying off their phones while driving, drivers earn points that are redeemable for discounts with popular brands and restaurants. This U.S.-based initiative was one of the winners of the Fundación MAPFRE Social Innovation Awards.
The app uses a strategy known as gamification, based on behavioral psychology and its finding that rewards, instead of punishments, are what lead to lasting behavioral changes. Adding an element of fun, it uses rewards to replace phone use while driving, a dangerous habit, with another that is far more gratifying and addictive.
“We have developed a promising technology that rewards drivers for choosing not to use their phones while driving. By downloading our free app, drivers can earn points for time spent driving without distractions. When a driver limits their phone use to maps/navigating, hands-free calling and music, they can earn rewards from popular brands like Reebok, Shake Shack and Urban Outfitters, to name just a few,” founder Ryan Frankel explains.
What makes TASL different from other apps that have tried to solve this problem? Whereas previous apps were designed to punish phone use, its reward-based focus has generated real behavioral changes after being tested on more than 45,000 active users per day.
According to the app’s founder, TASL offers high added value: “This means we are already saving lives across the country, and soon, all over the world. We are applying our technology to both consumers and companies. Corporate fleets are enthusiastic about our product and its potential to reduce financial responsibility and reputational impact. And insurance companies see the potential of our solution to lower their payments to customers who are distracted drivers.”
Young drivers: a high-risk group
TASL (the winning project in the sustainable mobility category) is particularly focused on protecting and working with young people, collaborating with schools, public authorities and student organizations. It also developed a Parent Portal where parents can monitor their children’s safe-driving behavior by establishing personalized rewards, adding extra motivation that can help save lives in this high-risk demographic.
A smart solution to a big problem
Seven years ago, Ryan Frankel left the house riding his bike as usual. However, it was a day that would change his life. A distracted driver who was texting with a friend ran a red light and caused a serious accident. After a long recovery, Ryan is back on his feet. The accident made him more aware of the dangers of phone use while driving, inspiring him to develop This App Saves Lives.
Thanks to this innovation, TASL users across the United States have already driven 200 million miles safely, and now the start-up’s more than 150 partners hope to roll it out soon in Europe and the rest of the world, saving lives.
“As our society becomes increasingly addicted to technology, initiatives like TASL are becoming more essential. Reducing traffic accidents is everyone’s responsibility, and this app in the form of a game gives its users additional motivation to stay off their phone while driving,” the founder said at the awards ceremony in Madrid.
The Fundación MAPFRE Social Innovation Awards have helped millions of people to grow and improve their quality of life, and for yet another year, they have been confirmed as a benchmark in the social innovation ecosystem. In their sixth edition, which received 347 project submissions, a 70% increase from the previous year, they continued to emphasize people-oriented entrepreneurship with a firm commitment to sustainability.