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Travelers Institute Hosts Every Second Matters℠ Symposium at Massachusetts General Hospital to Address Distracted Driving Epidemic
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Travelers Institute Hosts Every Second Matters℠ Symposium at Massachusetts General Hospital to Address Distracted Driving Epidemic

New survey finds 75% of Boston-area drivers surveyed use phones
behind the wheel

Local victim honored in new “Unfinished Stories” video

, the public policy division of The Travelers Companies,
Inc. (NYSE: TRV),
will host a symposium, “Disrupting Distraction,” today at Massachusetts
General Hospital. Part of the company’s Every Second Matters education
series, the event will explore the implications of distracted driving
and approaches to help tackle this important public health problem.

Travelers recently commissioned a survey of 517 Boston-area drivers and
found that 75% 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 also identified the top reasons drivers in the Greater Boston
area use mobile devices while driving, including:

  • Fearing they’ll miss something important (22%).
  • Having family obligations that require constant attention (18%).
  • Being unable to resist the urge to check the phone when hearing or
    seeing a notification (16%).
  • Feeling that it makes the drive go by faster (13%).

Many of the drivers surveyed admitted to using their phone while
driving, and nearly a quarter said they had gotten into a crash or
collision due to another driver’s distraction,” said Joan Woodward,
President of the Travelers Institute and Executive Vice President of
Public Policy at Travelers. “Too many lives have been affected by such
careless behavior, and each of us has a responsibility to make our roads

During this event, Travelers will premiere the third video in its “Unfinished
” series, which honors victims of distracted driving by
imagining what might have been if the crash had never occurred. This
video tells the story of Howard Stein of West Townsend, Massachusetts.
Emily Stein, the victim’s daughter and President of the Safe Roads
Alliance, will deliver the event’s opening presentation along with
Jillian Kaplan, the survivor of a crash caused by distracted driving.

It has been a privilege working with Travelers to tell my dad’s
unfinished story, which honors his life and all that my family lost,”
said Emily Stein. “While so much has been done to educate the public
about the dangers of distracted driving, there is still a long way to
go, and I’m grateful for Travelers’ work to help spread the message.”

Today’s program — co-hosted by the Travelers Institute, the Safe Roads
Alliance, Massachusetts General Hospital, the New England Council, the
National Safety Council and the Road to Zero Coalition — will begin at 4
p.m. ET and include a panel discussion moderated by Woodward and

  • Pete Gulbrandsen, Vice President and National Auto Lead, Personal
    Insurance, Travelers.
  • Jeff Larason, Director, Highway Safety Division, Executive Office of
    Public Safety and Security, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
  • Ben Kotrc, Senior Data Scientist, TrueMotion, Inc.
  • Dr. R. Malcolm Smith, Chief, Orthopaedic Trauma Center, Massachusetts
    General Hospital.

Small actions like reaching for a phone or programming a GPS may not
seem significant in the moment, but trauma centers like ours see the
true cost of these distractions each day,” said Dr. Smith. “Injuries and
fatalities resulting from distracted driving are entirely preventable,
and greater education and awareness of those tragic consequences can
help curb this dangerous habit.”

To view the “Unfinished Stories” video series and other related
material, visit
For more information on the company’s Every Second Matters initiative,
please visit the Travelers

About the Travelers Institute

The Travelers
, 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,
and business.
For more information, visit


Kate Thermansen, 860.954.1789

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