Auto industry makes moves to curb distracted driving
Dealers and other companies are putting a focus on cutting down distracted driving in Canada. The Dilawri Foundation — the Dilawri Group’s non-profit branch — has launched an app that promotes putting the smartphone down while driving, and LGM Financial is once again holding its Auto Dealers Against Distracted Driving campaign.
LGM Financial’s campaign is in its second year and calls on dealers across Canada to commit to making roads safer by education consumers on the dangers of distracted driving.
So, how can dealers get involved? They just need to register at www.distractionfree.ca.
Once registered, dealerships will receive a free campaign kit with materials designed to help start the important conversation with consumers and help raise local awareness about distracted driving.
These kits include a campaign-branded poster, key tags, pens and mirror danglers. Each dealer will be assigned an LGM ambassador, as well, who will provide support and guidance throughout the campaign, which runs from March 1-31.
“As the first point-of-contact with customers, dealers play a crucial role in encouraging positive driver behaviors like using hands-free technology or pulling off to the side of the road before you send a text,” says Shelley Hendy, dealer development manager for the Lower Mainland region at LGM Financial Services Inc. “We were so thrilled with the level of dealership engagement we saw last year, and we want to build on that success for 2016 and increase the number of participating dealers from 433 to at least 700.”
Last year, nearly 3,000 pledges were made against distracted driving by customers at participating dealerships. This year, 200 dealers have already come on board for the event.
If dealers need convincing to get on board, statistics might change their mind. Take this, for example: LGM Financial cited research that shows 80 percent of collisions are caused by some form of distracted driving, and that drivers are 23 times more likely to be involved in a collision if texting.
“The touchstone of this campaign is really that dealers are banding together from across the country, even joining their competitors, to curb a problem that affects everyone coast-to-coast,” says Marc-Andre Lefebvre, vice president of sales for the Quebec region at LGM. “Dealers are given the creative control to reach out to their own communities, craft their own messaging and decide how they want to educate consumers about safe driving before they drive off the lot in their vehicle.”
Dilawri Foundation launches texi
The new Dilawri app, texi, is a free, interactive — and incentivized — mobile app that promotes safe driving by helping to minimize smartphone use while driving.
“In our connected culture, it is important for Canadian drivers to have access to well-designed apps which effectively fulfill their need to stay in touch while eliminating the risks that come with distracted driving,” says Kap Dilawri, co-founder of The Dilawri Foundation. “Our goal with texi is to take the driving experience one step further by getting drivers excited about using the app as soon as they get into the car and before they start driving.”
Created as a solution to curb texting and driving by the Dilawri Foundation, users who activate the app before they start driving earn one point for every minute they travel without using their smartphone.
Then, they are entered into a monthly content to win prizes, including gift cards, smartphones, travel vouchers, gas cards and more. And the more points users earn, the bigger the prizes get. For example, all drivers who use the app for more than 15 minutes are also entered into a draw to win a new Honda Fit.
The app also, available on Google Play and the App Store for free download, has a social feature to keep users interested. When the app is turned on, it will auto-respond to texts with memes on Android devices, and users can customize or choose from a library of memes.
Monthly prizes for the app are donated by partners of the Dilari Foundation, and recognized TELUS and Kernels Popcorn for their support, in particular.
Auto Trader, TireLink and Snap-On helped with the development of the app.