European Road Safety Charter
good practice

Interpolis AutoModus

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Interpolis AutoModus

Distraction plays a role in 68% of traffic accidents. The telephone is the main cause. That's why Interpolis introduced the Automodus app, which helps you NOT use your phone whilst driving. The challenge of disconnecting people from their mobile phone addiction while driving is complex. Using the smartphone is habitual behavior and sometimes even addiction. So besides the AutoModus app Interpolis carries out many actions to help people not to use their phone while driving. Results are significant:
- over 170.000 people have downloaded the app
- awareness (cijfers) natalie baan metrixlab
- Interpolis clients who have downloaded the app averagely have 20% less damage on their car Insurance than expected on the base of their riskprofile.

Interpolis started AutoModus in 2016 and is still working hard to help drivers NOT to use their phone while driving:
1 Building the AutoModus app and scientific experiment (2016)
2 Awareness and activation, campaigns 538/'t kan jou ook gebeuren/commercial drive home safe/IkrijvoorNL (continuous 2016-2017-2018)
3 Conference 'Away from temptation', 24hrs session (2018)
4 Further development of the AutoModus app with behavioral sciences techniques (2019)

If you work together with external partners, list the most important partners and briefly describe their role. 
Purpl - development of AutoModus app, Freshheads - concepting of AutoModus app, Veilig Verkeer Nederland (VVN) - strategic partner in smart solutions mobility, SWOV - strategic partner and execution of the scientific experiment AutoModus (2016) and the research Interpolis Barometer (2017), Ministerie I&W - partner for the conference 'away from distraction' Kopgroep -
What problem did you address/are you addressing? 
Distraction by mobile phones while driving
What are your objectives? 
Make drivers aware of the risks of using the mobile phone in traffic
Provide drivers with solutions that help them NOT to use the phone while driving
Contribution to the Interpolis mission: 25% less traffic accidents in Holland 2025
Co-create with partners to make more impact
Who was/is your target audience? 
Describe the characteristics of your target audience 
Young adults (18-24jr) - 71% uses the mobile Phone while driving. We had depth interviews with young adult about distraction in traffic. Most important cause they mentioned was distraction by the mobile Phone. It is very difficult for them to resist the use of their Phone. The younger the more addicted. Adults (25-64) - 68% makes use of the Phone while driving. Most important reasons for use: to be accessible in case of emergency. 42% uses the Phone for handsfree callin/39% reads messages/34% sends messages. (source: Interpolis Barometer 2017 - SWOV)
How many people did you reach/have you reached? 
List the actions you carried/are carrying out 
Friday, 1 January, 2016 to Friday, 1 April, 2016
Name of action 

The AutoModus app; Survey into the effect of an app on reducing smartphone use while driving a car
Within the programme SlimOpWeg the Dutch insurance company Interpolis had a smartphone app developed. The purpose of this ‘AutoModus app’ is to help young drivers to reduce their smartphone use behind the wheel, as distraction by mobile phone use is a major road safety problem. Interpolis asked SWOV to investigate the effectiveness of two versions of the app: 1. a version in which one receives compliments by not using the smartphone while driving, and 2. a version in which one also receives points to exchange for gifts in addition to getting compliments. Both versions of the app were found to reduce self-reported smartphone use in the car significantly. The apps also reduced the score on smartphone addiction, and they strengthened the degree of risk perception, i.e. the extent to which smartphone use while driving is considered to be dangerous. Participants in the rewards group who used the app longer, reduced their smartphone use somewhat more than participants in this group who used the app for a briefer period. Participants in the compliments group reduced their smartphone use regardless of how long they used the app.
To date no research had been done in the Netherlands into the effects of apps in reducing phone use among road users. This questionnaire study on the Interpolis app is the first study in which this effect has been investigated.
Survey among 465 young novice drivers
Together with Interpolis, SWOV investigated the effect of both versions of the app on self-reported smartphone use among young novice drivers in the age group 18 - 24 years old. Participants who had signed up in advance, filled in a pre-test questionnaire and were then randomly assigned to one of three groups: the rewards app group, the compliments app group or the control group (Table 1). The two groups used the app during four weeks, filled in the second questionnaire, then used the app for four more weeks and finally filled in the third questionnaire. The control group did not use the app, but filled in the questionnaire at the same times.
2 November 2015 7 December 2015 4 Januari
2016 Number of participants
Initial questionnaire Compliments app Questionnaire after four weeks Compliments app Questionnaire after eight weeks N = 141
Rewards app Rewards app N = 153
No app (control group) No app (control group) N = 171
Table 1. Design of the Interpolis SlimOpWeg experiment: the AutoModus app.

AutoModus app reduces smartphone use while driving
After four weeks, participants with an AutoModus app indicate that they use their mobile phone significantly less frequently while driving than they reported doing before the study. After eight weeks this effect had remained the same. The decline in self-reported smartphone use that was observed among control group participants was much less strong. These findings are the basis for our conclusion that the AutoModus app significantly reduces smartphone use while driving. The slightly reduced smartphone use by the control group may be explained by the fact that they too, by completing the questionnaires, are extra aware of the dangers that smartphone use behind the wheel entails.
The effectiveness of the app is not affected by whether participants save up for gifts or just receive compliments.
Conclusions SWOV
Using the AutoModus app has led to a small, but statistically significant decrease in self-reported smartphone use among young drivers. This effect could be observed after four weeks, and also present after eight weeks. Using the app also increases awareness of the hazards of smartphone use while driving and the app has a positive effect on smartphone addiction. Both versions of the app equally reduce smartphone use in the car, but the compliments app seems to be less sensitive to the duration of the use and to the appreciation of the app. A possible explanation for this is that the compliments app addresses intrinsic motivation by focussing more on behavioural change, rather than on the rewards.
As distraction by smartphone use is an important road safety issue, the results of this study are very relevant. They show that this risky behaviour can be positively influenced by a relatively simple and low-threshold intervention. From the road safety point of view, we therefore advise to continue to roll out the AutoModus app and to stimulate the use of the app by young drivers. This should of course be done in addition to clear legislation and regulation, enforcement and education. Furthermore, it is recommended to also monitor the damages of participants, if the app is going to be more widely used. This makes it possible to establish whether the number of claims for damages decreases as a result of using the AutoModus app.

Friday, 1 April, 2016 to Tuesday, 30 April, 2019
Name of action 

Awareness and activation
Most people overestimate their ability to drive and use the Phone at the same time (source: Interpolis Barometer 2017))
That is why Interpolis continuously runs campaigns to make people aware of this.
2016: campaign in collaboration with Radio 538: 'all of Holland in AutoModus' with 'the mobile free battle'
2017: 't kan jou ook gebeuren' online movie showing it is impossible to use the Phone while driving
2017 - end of year commercial 'drive home safe'
2018 - IkrijvoorNL (DriveforDutch): installation of a piggybank. Drive mobil free kilometers and earn money for projects that work on road safety. DJ and radiohost Matti Valk
from Q-music is ambassador for AutoModus. In his morningshow on radio he addresses the need of mobile free driving in various manners. Challenging drivers
to make as many mobile free kilometers as possible .Or interviewing projects that work on road safety.

Sunday, 1 July, 2018 to Monday, 31 December, 2018
Name of action 

1. Organize and execute conference
2. 24 hrs session

Is there a plan for continuing these activities in the coming years? 
Yes. Interpolis continuously improves the solutions for drivers. Working method is agile/scrum. As long at the problem of distraction by phone exists Interpolis will make impactful awareness and activation campaigns. And will work on ever better solutions to help drivers stay focused on traffic.
How did you disseminate/are you disseminating results or how did you promote/are you promoting your initiative? 
The scientific research carried out by Interpolis is open to everyone interested in it. It is published by SWOV through the normal channels for research. Promotion of AutoModus is done through different campaigns. 2016 - campaign in collaboration with Radio 538: all of Holland in AutoModus, the mobile free battle'. 2017 - 't kan jou ook gebeuren' online movie showing it is impossible to use the Phone while driving 2017 - commercial drive home safe 2018 - IkrijvoorNL (DriveforDutch): make mobilfree kilometers and earn money for projects that work on road safety. DJ and radiohost Matti Valk from Q-music is ambassador for AutoModus. In his morningshow on radio he addresses the need of mobile free driving in various manners. Challenging drivers to make as many mobile free kilometers as possible .Or interviewing projects that work on road safety.
How did you evaluate/are you evaluating the success of your action? 
2. Continuos measuring awareness on the issue of the danger of using a mobile Phone while driving. 4. Downloads per week/month 1.The effect of the AutoModus app is measured in scientific research (experiment) in 2016. 3. Analyses of damage claims for car Looking at less damage claims 6. Measuring the use of automodus app (anonymus) 5. Number of people influenced with the message.
Who carried/carries out the evaluation activities? 
External evaluation
Internal evaluation
Name of the external evaluator 
SWOV (stichting wetenschappelijk onderwijs verkeersveiligheid) and furthermore MI department of Interpolis
When did/will you carry out the evaluation? 
Before, after and continuous monitoring
How many groups did you evaluate/have you evaluated? 
Number of interventions groups 
Number of control groups 
Please list the indicators you use to measure success 
downloads, claims level reduction
Please describe the evaluation tools you use (i.e. surveys, interviews, focus groups, etc.) 
Focus groups, surveys, data from the app (anonymus)