Seattle's Safest Driver

Updated: July 24, 2019

Seattle’s Safest Driver 2.0 – that's a wrap!

On July 23, 2019 we presented the grand prize winner with a giant check for $5,000 with our primary sponsor, PEMCO Mutual Insurance. Over the course of the 8-week competition, we saw risky behavior decrease 25% and significant reductions in speeding and phone distraction. Read more about the results and the grand prize winner on our blog.

Get started today

Download the Seattle's Safest Driver app in the App Store or Google Play. Invite your friends, family, and coworkers (yes, we encourage friendly smack talk in the name of safer streets), and get to it!

Download on the App Store Get it on Google Play


Up for a little friendly competition and safer streets?

Seattle's Safest Driver is an app-based safe driving competition that initially occurred November 2017 – January 2018, complete with cash prizes and bragging rights.

In partnership with PEMCO Insurance and Cambridge Mobile Telematics, the 2-month competition sought to change behavior and support Seattle's Vision Zero initiative to end traffic deaths and serious injuries on city streets by 2030.

Through the contest, we engaged 4,000+ people and saw behavior change for the better, which is no easy feat. Here's a snapshot of the positive change:

Across the top 50% of users, we saw a 20% decrease in distraction  and a 16% decrease in speeding. People who started with a score of less than 90 saw even greater gains, including over the three months following the contest.

Read more in our recap blog post and this one-page summary.

SDOT and PEMCO hand off a giant check to Russell Lebert, Seattle’s Safest Driver
SDOT and PEMCO hand off a giant check to Russell Lebert, Seattle’s Safest Driver

What does it take to be the safest driver? Here’s a tip from last year’s winner, Seattle resident Russell Lebert:

“My top tip for people would be to go into driving with a positive attitude – remember that you’re behind the wheel of a heavy vehicle that is inherently risky. Second, put your phone down.”

So how does it all work?

Step 1 - Get the app and get moving.

Download the free app and it'll start tracking your trips - by car, bike, and transit (ferry, too!). You get scored for trips when you're behind the wheel. The app measures speed, acceleration, braking, cornering, and phone distraction. The safer you are, the higher your score, and the more chances you have to win a variety of prizes (mmm hmm, prizes - read more about them in Step 3).

Download on the App Store Get it on Google Play

To participate, you need to be at least 17 years old, and a resident of King, Pierce, Snohomish, or Kitsap County. To be eligible for prizes, a portion of your trips must occur within the city of Seattle. This is, after all, a competition for Seattle's safest driver. To be eligible for the grand prize, you’ll need to download the app during the first 4 weeks of the competition (by June 9, 2019). For all the details, please check out the contest's terms and conditions.

Step 2 - Challenge your friends, family, and coworkers. Then beat them.

Settle the age-old debate of who's the better driver - invite your friends and family to compete and see how you rank against each other. Get feedback and tips on how to improve, and earn achievement badges. Friendly competition is fun, but traffic safety is no game. Working together, we can make Seattle's streets safer for everyone.

Step 3 - Compete for prizes!

We realize it takes some carrots to incentivize good behavior. Thanks to a partnership with PEMCO Insurance - a company that shares our vision for safe streets - eligible participants can compete for some serious grand prizes:

  • 1st place: $5,000
  • 2nd place: $2,500
  • 3rd place: $1,000

The competition runs for 8 weeks, May 13, 2019 through July 7, 2019. In addition to the cash grand prizes, you can compete for bi-weekly prizes. At the end of each two-week period, we'll push out prizes for the following categories:

  • Best driver
  • Least distracted driver
  • Most transit trips
  • Most bicycle trips

Thank you to our partners!

Special thank you to our primary sponsor, PEMCO Insurance, and our bi-weekly prize partners: car2go, Lyft, Uber, Lime, Zipcar, AAA Washington, Pacific Science Center, and Rachel’s Ginger Beer! Together, we’re making streets safer.

Car2Go Lyft Triple A Uber Rachel's Ginger Beer
Lime Zipcar Pacific Science Center Pemco Insurance


Read the full contest terms and conditions.

Check out these Frequently Asked Questions for answers to general ins and outs of the competition, as well as technical questions about the app. Here are a couple of the top FAQs:

Why are you making a game out of safety?

Traffic safety certainly isn't a game, and Seattle's Safest Driver is about more than winning: it's about behavior change. Data shows that attentive drivers can help save lives. The competition is an engaging way to encourage drivers to use more caution and make Seattle's streets safer for everyone. 

Our goal is aligned with Seattle's Vision Zero initiative to end traffic deaths and serious injuries on city streets by 2030 by improving driver behavior through an educational, informative, and friendly competition. Participants can win prizes based on their ability to drive safely and for improvement. Every time they complete a trip and see their score, they receive tips on how to improve and be a safer driver. 

We modeled our initial effort after a similar competition in Boston, which saw substantial behavior change during their 2-month competition that engaged close to 5,000 residents. The top 25% of app users saw a 35% reduction in speeding and a 47% reduction in phone use.

Will you have personal info about my driving habits if I download the app?

The City values participants' privacy. While the competition needs some data in order to give feedback on driving behavior and award prizes, we also ensure that the City does not learn specific information about each driver.

The City doesn't collect data directly. We've partnered with Cambridge Mobile Telematics (CMT) to develop the app, based on their work with the City of Boston. To provide drivers with feedback on their behaviors and award prizes to the winners, CMT collects email addresses, zip codes, phone sensor data, location data, and badges earned. CMT collects driver scores and data at the individual level, then they anonymize data within 60 days after the competition ends so that it cannot be used for any other purpose, and finally they provide the City with summarized reports at the zip code level.

The email you supply will be used in conjunction with your score, to identify and notify winners. The City receives email addresses for purposes of communication about this competition and we share winners' email addresses with our partner PEMCO Insurance for the sole purpose of communicating with winners about their prizes.

You are providing your information to the City of Seattle, Cambridge Mobile Telematics (CMT), and PEMCO Mutual Insurance Company (PEMCO). The information you provide will only be used in accordance with the City of Seattle's privacy policy.

Please note that the City of Seattle is subject to the Washington Public Records Act, Chapter 42.56 RCW. By participating in Seattle's Safest Driver, any records you submit to the City of Seattle may be subject to disclosure pursuant to the Public Records Act.

Please note: Apple®, Google®, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube are not sponsors or otherwise associated with the Contest or Sweepstakes, nor are any of these entities responsible in any manner for this Promotion including the conduct of the Promotion or the awarding of any prize.


Greg Spotts, Director
Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 3800, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 34996, Seattle, WA, 98124-4996
Phone: (206) 684-7623

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The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is on a mission to deliver a transportation system that provides safe and affordable access to places and opportunities for everyone as we work to achieve our vision of Seattle as a thriving, equitable community powered by dependable transportation.