The effect of telematic based feedback and financial incentives on driving behaviour: a randomised trial

Mark Stevenson, Anthony Harris, Jasper S. Wijnands, Duncan Mortimer

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Aim: In-vehicle telematics monitoring systems that provide driver feedback have been identified as a promising intervention to influence driver behaviours and reduce the growing burden of road injury. The current study was undertaken to assess the effect of driver feedback alone and feedback plus financial incentives on driving behaviours (speeding, hard acceleration and hard braking). Method: A pragmatic randomised trial was undertaken over a 28-week observational period. Drivers were recruited and randomly allocated to one of three groups namely, driver feedback, driver feedback plus incentives and a control group. The feedback group received a weekly summary of their driving performance via SMS text message and access to more detailed feedback via an online dashboard or smartphone application. The feedback plus financial incentive group received the feedback but lost financial incentives for risky driving behaviour above a threshold. Results: A total of 174 drivers completed at least one driving trip during the study period; 18,082 trip days completed by these 174 drivers during the study period provided the sample for analysis. For the primary outcomes of probability of speeding, hard acceleration and hard braking on any given trip, neither feedback alone nor feedback plus incentives delivered statistically significant improvements in driving behaviour relative to the controls. Treatment effects for feedback plus incentives were, however, consistently in the expected direction and large enough to warrant further investigation. For the secondary composite measure of risky driving, namely the DriveScore™, a statistically significant improvement was observed for the feedback and incentive group compared to the control group (TE = 2.6 points on a 0–100 scale, p < 0.05). Discussion: This study adds to our understanding of the potential effects of feedback and financial incentives. Findings suggest that, while feedback alone may be insufficient to motivate behaviour change, combining feedback with financial incentives can deliver potentially important and statistically significant reductions in risky driving behaviours.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106278
Number of pages8
JournalAccident Analysis and Prevention
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021


  • Behavioural economics
  • Driving behaviour
  • Financial incentives
  • Road safety

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