Revealed: Why motorists choose telematics insurance

Revealed: Why motorists choose telematics insurance

Revealed: Why motorists choose telematics insurance

Telematics insurance has been on a steady rise for years now, and new research has revealed that the biggest reason why is … cost.

Almost half (47 per cent) of the 1,500 UK drivers that took part in a recent survey said cheaper car insurance was the main factor behind their decision to have a telematics-based insurance policy.

More than a third (36 per cent) said they opted for telematics insurance in case it helped track their car if it was stolen, while three in ten (31 per cent) hoped it would help with claim management after a car accident.

Over a quarter of the survey sample reckoned telematics insurance provided a financial incentive to drive safely (29 per cent) and help to increase self-awareness of their own driving style (27 per cent).

Separate research by BIBA (British Insurance Brokers’ Association) revealed there are now nearly one million telematics policies live in the UK – up by nearly 30 per cent on 2016’s figure.

Despite these obvious incentives, it seems the insurance sector still has work to do in terms of convincing UK drivers of telematics’ benefits – nearly 30 per cent of those surveyed stated they could think of no reasons to change from traditional motor insurance policies.

Dr Colin Smithers, chief executive of Redtail Telematics – which commissioned the survey, believes developments in the car insurance market have the potential to revolutionise the way we drive and how we guard against the risks of poor driver behaviour.

He commented: “The increased use of telematics has important implications for anyone who might consider taking up a a telematics-based insurance policy, policymakers and for society as a whole.

“Widespread use of telematics is also likely to lead to better driving and fewer fatalities.”

Jez Strong, general manager for Tele-Gence, commented: “The benefits of telematics are well documented, but it’s interesting to see why people are keen to include the tech in their insurance policy.”

Your business can benefit from affordable telematics with no hidden start-up fees or long-term commitments. Find out how at www.tele-gence.com

Photo: plusphoto/iStock

Bus company fined £2.3 million after unfit driver killed two people

Telematics has the ability to flag up dangerous and unfit drivers, but a bus company has just been fined £2.3 million for failing to act on these warnings after an overworked driver crashed into a supermarket, killing two people.

Fleet News reports that Midland Red (South)’s telematics system had repeatedly raised issues over the standard of Kailish Chander’s driving.

In October 2015, Mr Chander mistook the accelerator for the brake pedal, leading to the fatal crash.

Mr Chander, who was 77 at the time and working more than 70 hours a week, was found to have been driving dangerously at a fact-finding trial in September. However, he could not be found guilty as the 80-year-old was deemed mentally unfit to stand trial.

Instead, he was subjected to a two-year supervision order, which means he will be under a social worker and a psychiatrist for the order’s duration.

Midland Red (South), which is part of the Stagecoach group, admitted breaching health and safety standards during a two-day hearing at Birmingham Crown Court.

At sentencing, judge Paul Farrer insisted that Midland Red (South) was well aware of Mr Chandler’s long hours and that this was affecting his quality of driving.

The company’s third-party telematics provider constantly flagged up issues with Chander’s driving, sending numerous letters to him on the matter. Eventually, a disciplinary process saw an instructor from the company’s driving school carry out a ‘mystery shopper’ style journey on one of his buses.

This resulted in Mr Chander being referred to extra training with a driving school.

During the training, he told the instructor he felt he was being asked to work too many hours. The instructor responded by advising Mr Chandler to refuse the work if he didn’t feel fit.

After the sentencing, Midland Red (South) managing director Phil Medlicott, accepted there had been multiple failings at his company.

“We bear the weight of our responsibility for this terrible tragedy; that’s why we made early guilty pleas,” he said, adding that “safety is and always will be our first concern”.

Mr Medlicott admitted there were “failures at an operational level in driver supervision and we deeply regret the opportunities that were missed to act decisively on emerging warning signs”.

Since the accident, Midland Red (South) has introduced a significantly more robust safety regime than what is required by law. Medical testing is now more frequent and there is a pre-medical review for older drivers, with appropriate checks being carried out every six months rather than on a statutory annual basis.

Stronger measures controlling working hours have also been put in place.

Jez Strong, general manager for Tele-Gence, commented: “All these changes following the accident don’t erase the fact that this whole episode may never had happened if warnings from the telematics company had been acted upon.”

Your business can benefit from affordable telematics with no hidden start-up fees or long-term commitments. Find out how at www.tele-gence.com

Telematics helps slash teenage driver casualties fall by a third

Black box telematics insurance policies have helped dramatically reduce the number of young drivers killed or seriously injured in road traffic accidents.

Since 2011, road casualties involving drivers aged between 17 and 19 have dropped by over a third (35 per cent), compared to 16 per cent for the driving population as a whole.

Over the same seven years, the number of live telematics-based insurance policies has grown every year from 90,000 in 2011 to 975,000 in 2017. In short, that’s an increase of 983 per cent!

Additionally, road casualty rates in 17-19 year olds dropping by a third comes despite a ten per cent increase in the number of vehicles on the road between 2011 and 2016.

A spokesperson from LexisNexis Risk Solutions, which published the data, said the downward trend was fuelled by the increasing availability and adoption of telematics insurance.

“Young drivers remain the riskiest drivers on our roads but the insurance sector deserves a great deal of credit for developing an insurance product that encourages safer driving and delivers fairer pricing to young drivers based on their road behaviour,” they commented.

They went on to suggest that the safety benefits of telematics weren’t tied to age, adding: “The analysis provides evidence that telematics has had a real impact on the safety of young drivers and the potential it therefore offers to improve road safety standards for all motorists.”

Experts estimate that the cost of offering telematics has fallen by as much as half since 2013, while four in five consumers are comfortable with the idea of telematics insurance.

Jez Strong, general manager for Tele-Gence, commented: “It is encouraging to see that telematics is providing young drivers suitable insurance designed to meet their needs and reduce the number of young driver casualties.”

Your business can benefit from affordable telematics with no hidden start-up fees or long-term commitments. Find out how at www.tele-gence.com

One in eight drivers have fallen asleep at the wheel

More than a quarter of fatal road accidents are caused by drivers who have fallen asleep at the wheel, government figures suggest.

The latest road casualty statistics from the Department for Transport show that drowsy drivers were to blame for 53 fatal and 351 serious crashes in 2017.

However, the true figure for fatigue-related crashes is believed to be much higher due to under-reporting, with up to 25 per cent of fatal accidents estimated to have been caused by people who have dropped off driving.

An online poll of 20,561 UK drivers in September found that one in eight (13 per cent) have fallen asleep at the wheel.

In addition, close to two in five (37 per cent) admitted that they have been so tired they have been worried they would fall asleep when driving.

Who is most likely to drive tired?

Men were deemed to be three times as likely as women to say they have fallen asleep at the wheel (17 to five per cent).

The research raised concern that young drivers, aged between 18 and 24, are the most at-risk. This group was found to be the most likely to say tiredness doesn’t affect their driving ability (13 per cent compared to two per cent of all drivers), as well as being the most likely age group to say they normally carry on driving if they feel tired (18 to three per cent).

Close to three in five (57 per cent) stop for a break as soon as they realised they might be too tired to drive. This figure dropped to just 34 per cent for 18-24-year olds.

One in ten (11 per cent) knew they were tired when they began their journey, increasing to  29 per cent for 18-24-year olds.

When asked why they were so tired, almost two in five (39 per cent) said they’d had a hard day at work, while a third blamed the monotony of the journey.

Around a quarter pinned their tiredness on trying to cover too much distance in one day and a lack of sleep the night before.

Tiredness is inevitable, managing it is crucial

Edmund King, AA Charitable Trust director, believes that drowsiness is one of the most underestimated risks on the roads.

“Tiredness is a fact of life at some point for most of us and it is crucial we know how to manage it in relation to driving,” he commented.

“Crashes involving a drowsy driver tend to be catastrophic. If a driver has fallen asleep at the wheel, they do not brake before an impact and make no attempt to steer away from a collision.”

Jez Strong, general manager for Tele-Gence, added: “Some drivers wind down the window or turn up the radio to wake themselves up. But the truth is that the only remedy is to take a break.”

Your business can benefit from affordable telematics with no hidden start-up fees or long-term commitments. Find out how at www.tele-gence.com

Photo: Shutterstock

One in seven drivers taking risks at level crossings

 

New research from Network Rail reveals an alarming one in seven drivers report they wouldn’t wait for the barrier or gate to open at a level crossing before driving their vehicle across. In the last five years, six people have lost their lives in vehicles at level crossings, with many more being hurt and injured.

Every week around 46 incidents involving vehicles take place at level crossings across the country, with HGVs the most common specific vehicle type involved (32 per cent), and cars the second most common (28 per cent).

The study reveals a lack of knowledge may be to blame, with almost a third of UK drivers reporting they have never been taught how to use a level crossing (31 per cent), leaving them more likely to be unaware of the dangers and more likely to take risks.

It also revealed that nearly half of the drivers surveyed (45 per cent) felt their passengers were their biggest distraction while driving. The thought of arriving late also distracted nearly a third (30 per cent) of drivers, with exams or a hospital appointment being the top reasons for not waiting at the level crossing.

Alarmingly, the findings showed one in nine drivers (11 per cent) would go straight over a level crossing if they had checked the train timetable and believed no train was coming. This is particularly dangerous as freight trains or other trains not listed on the public timetable often pass through level crossings at speeds of up to 100mph.

Allan Spence, head of public and passenger safety at Network Rail, said, “It’s clear that there is a lack of knowledge around how dangerous railway crossings can be. We are seeing drivers take risks at level crossings every day – putting themselves and others in danger. Nothing is worth risking your life over, just to save a few minutes of time.”

“We are investing more than £100m to improve level crossing safety across Britain as part of the Railway Upgrade Plan, but we also need drivers to obey the law at level crossings. By staying behind the barrier until it is safe to cross and paying attention to the warnings at level crossings, we can all keep ourselves and those in our vehicles out of harm’s way.”

To help increase awareness of the dangers at level crossings, Network Rail is partnering with British Transport Police on a national safety campaign targeted at drivers to remind them of the dangers of not following the safety instructions at a level crossing.

To find out more about level crossing safety, visit www.networkrail.co.uk/drivers

Jez Strong, general manager for Tele-Gence, commented: “It’s no secret that telematics can be a fleet manager’s best friend, providing hugely useful insights into what their drivers are doing right and where they can improve.”

Your business can benefit from affordable telematics with no hidden start-up fees or long-term commitments. Find out how at www.tele-gence.com