In the Permian Basin alone, an average of 30 crashes are reported every day (C.R.I.S. Query). With the increase in commuting oil workers, West Texas roads have seen an increase in distracted driving crashes as well. The possible correlation between the two cannot be ignored, according to SAFE 2 SAVE, an app that hopes to turn the trend of crashes due to distracted driving through awareness and incentivized behavior change. Marci Corry, SAFE 2 SAVE’s founder and CEO, said of the phenomenon, “The issue is really two-fold. Firstly, many employers in the oil industry have an unsafe expectation for their employees to be available at all times, including when behind the wheel. This demand then leads to their employees not only putting their own life at risk because of their distracted behavior, but also putting families and entire Permian Basin communities at risk.”
Her answer is simple: inform people about the issue and motivate them to change their own habits and encourage their friends and families to do the same. Corry is calling businesses to hold a higher standard to take care of their employees by valuing safety over productivity when commuting. Simultaneously, she is challenging employees to change their personal habits when on the road by understanding the danger and implementing safer behavior. But how might such a huge issue be tackled, practically? How can people be motivated to stop driving distracted? Corry’s solution? SAFE 2 SAVE.
The free app rewards users points for every minute they drive without cell phone use. These points can then be used for special offers and free food at participating restaurants and businesses (for instance, a couple of minutes of driving safely equates to a free soft drink from Kent Kwik). This reward system benefits not only SAFE 2 SAVE users, but local businesses, too, and ultimately, the entire community. And Corry has a special place in her heart for the Permian Basin, “I grew up in West Texas. I care about our community because it raised me. I created SAFE 2 SAVE because I saw the need for a simple way to combat a complicated, nationwide issue. And I deeply believe that our community can rise up to the challenge to see the economy continue to increase, but be a part in making distracted driving decrease.”