Travelers Institute Hosts Every Second MattersSMSymposium at the University of Cincinnati to Combat Distracted Driving

October 2, 2019

New survey finds 73% of Cincinnati-area drivers surveyed use phones behind the wheel

CINCINNATI--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The Travelers Institute, the public policy division of The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TRV), will host a symposium, “Harnessing Psychology, Tech and Innovation to Combat Distracted Driving,” today at the University of Cincinnati Carl H. Lindner College of Business. Part of the company’s Every Second Matters education series, the event will explore behavioral insights, technological innovations, advances in auto safety and other developments that may help combat distracted driving and save lives.

Ohio experienced four consecutive years of rising traffic crashes and deaths between 2013 and 2017, according to the Ohio Department of Transportation. Travelers recently commissioned a survey of 500 Cincinnati-area drivers and found that 73% use their mobile device for calls or apps while driving, compared to 68% of drivers across the country who admitted to the same behavior in the 2019 Travelers Risk Index.

The survey of Cincinnati-area drivers also identified the top reasons for using mobile devices while driving, which include:

  • Fearing they’ll miss something important (20%).
  • Having family obligations that require constant attention (17%).
  • Being unable to resist the urge to check the phone when hearing or seeing a notification (15%).
  • Feeling that it makes the drive go by faster (15%).

“Although a third of the drivers we surveyed said that having access to communication-blocking technology would deter them from distracted driving, less than a quarter actually use it,” said Joan Woodward, President of the Travelers Institute and Executive Vice President of Public Policy at Travelers. “Our events are an opportunity to help bring awareness to these effective tools and empower drivers to take simple steps to stay safe behind the wheel.”

Today’s program — co-hosted by the Travelers Institute, University of Cincinnati’s Carl H. Lindner III Center for Insurance and Risk Management and Gamma Iota Sigma — will begin at 5 p.m. ET with welcoming remarks from Dr. Steve Slezak, Director, Carl H. Lindner III Center for Insurance and Risk Management, University of Cincinnati. The program will include a panel discussion moderated by Woodward featuring:

  • Dr. Peter Chiu, Associate Professor, Psychology and Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Cincinnati.
  • Michelle May, Highway Safety Program Manager, Ohio Department of Transportation.
  • Dr. Ian Reagan, Senior Research Scientist, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
  • Chris Hackworth, Regional Vice President, Personal Insurance, Travelers.

“No one checks their phone with the intent of causing a crash, but it happens with alarming frequency,” said May, who will deliver the keynote presentation at today’s event. “Education is key to changing attitudes toward distracted driving, and this event is an opportunity to encourage people to put down their phones and just drive.”

For more information on the company’s Every Second Matters initiative, please visit the Travelers Institute website.

About the Travelers Institute
The Travelers Institute, the public policy division of The Travelers Companies, Inc., engages in discussion and analysis of public policy topics of importance to the insurance marketplace and to the financial services industry more broadly. The Travelers Institute draws upon the industry expertise of Travelers’ senior management, as well as the technical expertise of many of Travelers’ underwriters, risk managers and other experts to provide information, analysis and solutions to public policymakers and regulators. Travelers is a leading provider of property casualty insurance for auto, home and business. For more information, visit

Stephanie Arpin, 860.277.8876

Source: The Travelers Institute