Travelers Institute To Launch 2018 Every Second Matters¿ Series In San Antonio, Focusing On The Dangers Of Distracted Driving

The Travelers Institute, the public policy division of The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TRV), will begin its 2018 Every Second Matters symposia series Feb. 13 at St. Mary's University in San Antonio to explore the causes of distracted driving and help change social norms to make the road safer for drivers, passengers, cyclists and pedestrians.

The St. Mary's University Greehey School of Business, the Insurance Council of Texas, Our Driving Concern, Vision Zero San Antonio, Gamma Iota Sigma - Beta Xi Chapter at St. Mary's University, the National Safety Council and the Road to Zero Coalition will partner with the Travelers Institute for this event.

The symposium will feature a panel discussion that highlights alarming statistics about distracted driving, including:
  • About 3,450 lives were lost in 2016 due to distracted driving, according to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
  • In Texas, distraction-related crashes claimed 455 lives in 2016, according to the Texas Department of Transportation.
  • The 2017 Travelers Risk Index found that about a quarter (23 percent) of Americans surveyed say they use personal technology at least sometimes while driving — despite nearly 80 percent saying they know the practice is very risky.
  • Roughly 10 percent of people say they have gotten into an accident from their own distracted driving, while 23 percent say they have gotten into an accident due to someone else's distracted driving, as shown in the 2017 Travelers Risk Index.

"These startling statistics remind us that we each play a role in raising awareness about the risks motorists create when they talk, text or email using their cell phones," said Joan Woodward, President of the Travelers Institute and Executive Vice President of Public Policy at Travelers. "Changing harmful driving habits involves a holistic approach that includes open discussions about the severity of the problem and how we can reduce the risks — for the safety of everyone on the road."

Officer Jonathan Esquivel of the San Antonio Police Department will deliver a keynote address recounting his personal experience as a victim of a texting-and-driving collision and his recovery from life-threatening injuries.

Woodward will moderate the discussion and will be joined by Esquivel; Pete Gulbrandsen, Vice President and National Auto Lead, Personal Insurance, Travelers; and Lisa Robinson, Senior Program Manager, National Safety Council.

"We are thrilled to expand our partnership with the Travelers Institute to help raise this important topic on college campuses alongside our Gamma Iota Sigma chapters," said Noelle Codispoti, Chief Executive Officer, Gamma Iota Sigma. "It is through these types of events that we can share the insurance industry's positive impact on our communities with younger generations."

Visit the Travelers Institute website for more information about its efforts to combat distracted driving, or read the report,  Every Second Matters: A conversation starter on reducing distracted driving risk, which explores recent trends in motor vehicle fatalities and provides safe driving tips.

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 and casualty insurance for auto, home and business. For more information, visit travelers.com.

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