Competition Aims to Find Boston’s Best Driver

Take part in the contest via a new app that judges safe-driving habits.

Boston Driving

Photo via / Nikolay Tzolov

If you feel like you’re a decently safe driver in Boston, maybe that’s because you are.

Or maybe it’s because Boston has set the bar extraordinarily low, such that being even tolerant of bicyclists on the road and having a basic understanding of how blinkers work makes you one of the good ones.

But do you think you have what it takes to be Boston’s best driver? There’s only one way to find out.

The city is teaming up with an insurance company and a local software developer to bring you the Boston’s Safest Driver Competition.

To compete, download an app (via the App Store and Google Play) that monitors users’ driving habits. Here’s more on how it works:

Boston’s Safest Driver automatically detects when driving starts and stops, and uses the phone’s sensors to measure driving quality including acceleration, braking, cornering, speeding and phone distraction. The application logs your driving trips, displays mapped routes of your drives and displays details on maneuvers giving you useful feedback to help you become a better driver. In addition, it provides driving tips and allows you to invite friends to your leaderboard to compete for top rankings. 

Users are graded on a scale of 0-100, and the app maintains a leaderboard. Anyone in the Metro Boston area can compete. If your stats are among the best, the contest will be handing out weekly prizes valued at $9,000 total “to the top drivers, the most improved, new app users, and even people who take car-free trips on a bicycle, bus, or train.” The contest runs between now and Dec. 3 and the grand prize is $2,000.

The project is a collaboration between the city’s Vision Zero Task Force, the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics, Cambridge Mobile Telematics, and the Arbella Insurance Foundation.

But besides the money and accolades, the honor also means permanent designation as a non-Masshole—which, if you’ve ever driven around Boston, would clearly put you in exclusive company.

“Our top priority is creating streets that are safe for Boston’s pedestrians, cyclists and drivers,” Mayor Marty Walsh said in a statement. “We know that when drivers are more attentive, we save lives, and this new competition is a fun way to encourage drivers to use more caution when traveling on our streets. I thank Cambridge Mobile Telematics and the Arbella Insurance Foundation for their partnership.”