belairdirect joins awareness campaign with new app to curb distracted driving

TORONTO, Sept. 15, 2014 /CNW/ - belairdirect insurance company and the 'Seriously…Just Drive' campaign are teaming up to promote a newly released mobile app to Ontario drivers in a bid to curb distracted driving.

Joining the chorus of public concern and renewed efforts by legislators to prevent distracted driving, belairdirect and Seriously…Just Drive hope the bumpr™ application, which automatically senses and responds to incoming calls and text messages when a vehicle is moving, will offer a solution to the growing issue.

bumpr was developed by belairdirect to prevent distracted driving resulting from the use of smart phones and particularly text messages and social media notifications. Depending on the settings the user chooses, bumpr can redirect calls to voicemail, temporarily block various kinds of alerts and notifications and send a pre-selected response to incoming test messages, all without requiring the driver to touch the phone.

"As an insurance company, we see the results of distracted driving every day," said Carla Smith, Vice President, Ontario Region. "This propels us to find new ways of educating motorists about the importance of driving responsibly, and to create the tools they need to help them stay safe on the road. belairdirect hopes the app will help reduce the number of accidents caused by cell phone use while driving."

The bumpr application will be featured at Seriously…Just Drive events, where participants engage in advanced 'distracted driving simulators', an initiative launched by AIM Autosport's chief race engineer, Ian Willis, and racing champion, Juliana Chiovitti.

"Distracted driving is now the leading cause of road deaths in Ontario. We established a relationship with a reputable insurance company to increase the awareness of this growing issue," said Chiovitti. "With the bumpr app, you can take away the anxiousness we feel to stay connected on the go and less drivers will feel obliged to answer, look or glance at their phones."

In Ontario, distracted driving is cited as the cause in 30 to 50 per cent of traffic collisions. The figures are alarming especially in the case of young adults: 60 per cent of drivers that own a cell phone admit to using it even though they are aware of the risks of doing so.i

Cell phones are one of the main distractions for motorists, increasing the risk of a car accident when used while drivingii. belairdirect aims to bring awareness to the public and take action to address this risk.

The bumpr application is available free of charge not only to belairdirect customers but to all Canadian motorists. The application is designed exclusively for use with the Android™ operating system.

*Please visit bumprapp.com for the full Terms of Use of the bumpr application.
Android is a trademark of Google Inc.

About belairdirect
belairdirect has been offering home and car insurance products for more than 50 years directly to consumers. It offers a simple but complete solution, allowing customers to communicate with a licensed agent by phone or online. belairdirect was the first property and casualty insurer to sell insurance products online in North America, attesting to the company's innovative character. belairdirect is a subsidiary of Intact Financial Corporation (TSX : IFC), the largest provider of property and casualty insurance in Canada.

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ihttp://www.opp.ca/ecms/index.php?id=545
iihttp://www.worksafebc.com/regulation_and_policy/policy_practice_consultative_committee/assets/pdfs/cellphonemotorvehicleaccidents.pdf

SOURCE: Belairdirect

For further information: Andrew Willis, Consultant, Communications, belairdirect, andrew.willis@belairdirect.com, 1-888-495-6999, ext.: 46084; Juliana Chiovitti, Program Director, Seriously…Just Drive, juliana@myautomotivehookup.ca, 647-241-3089

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