New App Rewards Not Using Your Phone While Driving

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So far no ‘solution’ to the problem of drivers texting while driving, or otherwise using their phone while driving their car (for example, using the maps app), seems to have made much of a difference. Now a new app, called JoyRyde (nee ‘JoyRide’) is hoping to change that by rewarding drivers for not using their phone while behind the wheel.

Various other solutions that have been tried include apps that text others to not text you while you’re driving, laws that allow the police to analyze your phone at the scene of an accident, and even giant billboards to shame texting drivers caught in the act, along with, of course, laws that ban texting while driving.

But none of these things seem to be working. In fact, as long ago as 2010, a study by the Highway Loss Data Institute found that laws against texting while driving do nothing to lower the incidence of people text messaging (or otherwise using their phone) while behind the wheel.


Enter JoyRyde, which was originally conceived as ‘JoyRide’ (no word on why the change, although we can imagine that it had to do with domain availability and maybe copyright concerns).

JoyRyde is the brainchild of Terry Goguen. Goguen, of Weston, Massachusetts, and a graduate of Middlebury College in Vermont, got the idea for the app after he scared himself by crossing into the middle of the road while looking at his phone behind the wheel, while driving his younger siblings home from hockey practice.

As Goguen explains on the JoyRyde site:


As the oldest of six children who all play hockey, I inherently do a lot of chauffeuring to practices. One evening, as I was driving my two little brothers home from practice, I became distracted by my phone. Before I knew it I was across the double yellow lines heading into oncoming traffic. Fortunately, I was able to swerve back into my lane with only a racing heart and shaken nerves resulting. Later that evening, my sister admitted to me that she was texting while driving when she totaled my car two months earlier. She hit a tree and was lucky to survive relatively unscathed.

Shaken by my own experience – I, like most people feel they are immune to the consequences – and well aware of the breadth of the issue, I decided to try to do something to help incentivize people to stop driving while they are distracted.

So, to incentivize people to do the right thing, rather than punishing texting while driving, Goguen developed an app where the driver is rewarded with points for miles driven without any texting event. Or, really, any other event, as part of the way that JoyRyde functions is by it remaining open on your phone while you are driving.

As Goguen points out in an interview with Vermont Public Radio, “We want to make kids want to use it. We want to make adults [use it]. Adults are sometimes the worst culprits.” {Ed. note: amen to that!} Adds Goguen, “This will allow people to want to use it and have fun while doing it. We really try and gamify it.”

Here’s how it works:

Once you install the JoyRyde app, and sign up, you simply tap on the steering wheel icon on the bottom of the JoyRyde screen to start your Ryde.

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When your Ryde is done, simply tap ‘Finish Ryde’.

joyryde miles mileage


A ‘violation’ occurs when you switch out of the JoyRyde app during a drive. As you accumulate miles driven without changing from the JoyRyde app to another app, you accumulate points which can be exchanged for ‘digital coupons’, which can be spent with participating companies.

Simple as pie.

And while we wondered ‘what about passengers using it too?’, Goguen told us that “We actually encourage people to use it as a passenger. I don’t know about you, but for kids, passengers can be just as distracting on their phones, especially with the onset of SnapChat. If we can get a car full of JoyRyders, that’s the best thing we can have.”

Participating companies include Cumberland Farms, Give’r, Sojourn Bike Tours, and B.Good healthy fast foods.

cumberland farms joyride joyryde sojourn joyryde joyride app


In an email to the Internet Patrol, Sojourn explained that they are happy to support JoyRyde as, as a bike tour company, road safety is really important to them. “It’s a great incentive to drive safely and be aware behind the wheel.”

And, says a spokesperson from Give’r, “Our company is founded upon the choice to Give’r in life. This means finding what you love, and what you are passionate about and then giving it your all. When we first connected with Terry, there was no question he had the fire and passion to create JoyRyde to make a difference, and make driving safer for all those around him.

We are excited to join with Terry in providing incentive for others to drive safer so they can live another day to Give’r! We will be providing giveaways and discounts for safe drivers on our full product line on”

JoyRyde founder Terry Goguen tells us that they are always on the lookout for other companies with which to pair to offer rewards for good, non-texting drivers, so if you are such a company, you can reach out to them at the JoyRyde website.

You can download the JoyRyde app for iOS here.

And you can download the JoyRyde app for Android from the Google Play store here.

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New App Rewards Not Using Your Phone While Driving

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2 Replies to “New App Rewards Not Using Your Phone While Driving”

  1. Terry Goguen is a genius with this idea. I use it every day I get in my car. I still feel a little anxiety when I know someone called or texted, but each time I ignore it and keep racking up the miles, it is getting easier. I know I wouldn’t be as focused without the app. Thank you Terry!!!

  2. This app rules. It addresses a huge unmet need. Building up miles is fun and something to be proud of. We need to make it cool NOT to text or talk and drive. This is becoming a far more severe issue than DWI/DUI. We are all guilty and people will continue to have accidents, get injured or worst die. Spread the word to teen drivers and soccer moms everywhere!

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