Since the project was presented to us, we started thinking about risky situations in traffic, and with data analysis (such as the local news and an online form given to local community) we realized that mobile phone usage was among the top ten causes of traffic accidents in our city. With that in mind, we had the idea of using “ride app drivers” for our project, considering that they use their phones while driving, and, therefore, are more likely to have risky situations or accidents.
Teenagers in Brasil are only allowed to drive after turning eighteen. Therefore, taking a lift with parents or friend’s parentes seemed as the only alternatives when public transportation was not available. However, things have changed because of the creation of the “ride apps”, such as UBER. This is where we found our space to work on safety and mobility, once Uber drivers are professionals that deal with problems related to all of those who venture to drive.
Uber drivers need to be constantly checking their phones and monitoring their rides. Considering this and taking into account the special attention given to the fact that they are transporting lives, we raised the question on how they could act when it comes to mobile phone usage and how we can raise awareness in these drivers.
The solution we came up with was the creation on a sticker with a "meme" on it, once UBER drivers transport young people, most of the time. The sticker consisted of a famous "meme" with a famous guy disagreeing with the usage of phone for whatsapp and agreeing with the usage of the phone only for the GPS function. The title of the sticker is "safe uber", meaning that the driver only uses the phone as a GPS.
We experienced two parts in the project: the first one in which we created an online form and gave to the drivers to answer, the questions included information on age, genre, the length of their driving period and if they had ever faced a difficult situation due to mobile phone usage; the second one happened after analyzing their answers, in which we found many different cases, so we decided to interview some drivers and recorded them as a “carpool” show (you can see examples on Youtube!), where we listened to their experiences related to mobile phone usage and driving.
Aiming to raise awareness in drivers, we created a sticker with a “meme” expressing the idea that the drivers only use the phone as a GPS gadget, not as a tool to keep chatting to people while driving. These stickers were given to the drivers, making them free to choose whether to stick them or not. We interviewed five drivers (each team conducted the interview with the drivers) and gave them the stickers. They appreciated the idea, but seemed not very fond of the idea of sticking it to their cars.