Lockdown accelerates young driver speeding by 15%

11 May 2020

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Co-op Insurance and the UK’s road safety charity Brake are launching a campaign to remind young drivers about the dangers of speeding and urging them to put on the brakes.

This comes as the insurer reports that speeding alerts issued to its young driver policyholders have increased by a sixth (15%) in recent weeks.

Co-op’s telematics data which monitors drivers’ behaviours such as how fast they take corners, how they brake and whether they are observing the speed limit, shows some are driving faster than they legally should be.

As a means of helping to keep young drivers and their communities safe, Co-op in partnership with Brake is now contacting over 20,000 young driver policyholders to warn them of the dangers of speeding and urge them to always drive below designated speed limits.

Young drivers have a casualty rate three times higher than all other drivers in England. The Co-op therefore hopes the warning will make a difference in encouraging those who are exceeding speed limits, to take responsibility in improving their driving, ultimately making roads safer.

In addition to posing a serious risk to themselves, other drivers and their communities, receiving multiple speeding alerts could mean that these drivers don’t graduate from the black box, and see a reduction in their premiums. They could also see their policies cancelled if they drive at dangerous speeds regularly.

Nick Ansley, Head of Motor Insurance at Co-op said: “It’s worrying that some drivers are exceeding speed limits during lockdown. Whilst this is a small number of our policyholders and we know in some instances it may even be their parents, we feel it’s our responsibility to reach out to everyone.

“The safety of our drivers and those in their communities is of the upmost importance to us and as police forces highlight this is a real issue across the country, we’re doing what we can to encourage those who are taking unnecessary risks to slow down."

Since the launch of its telematics product a decade ago, Co-op has given back over £13 million for good driving. The insurer hopes those young driver policyholders who are speeding take note of this latest reminder, to ensure such drivers can be rewarded for safe driving.

Joshua Harris, Director of Campaigns at Brake said: “Speeding at any time is selfish and dangerous, – it increases the risk of a serious crash and blights communities – and so these findings are deeply concerning. We urge drivers of all ages to think of the devastation a crash can cause and always keep well within speed limits.

“Lockdown has made roads much quieter, but this does not mean speeding is acceptable - far from it. With families using roads for daily exercise, and some stepping off pavements to adhere to social distancing, drivers need to be extra-vigilant and make sure they slow down near cyclists and in places where people live.”

ENDS

For further information please contact: Mark Carrington | Press Officer | 07890 384 471 | mark.carrington@coop.co.uk

Emily Penkett | Lead PR Manager | 07738 621 201 emily.penkett@coop.co.uk

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Notes to Editors Department for Transport young car drivers road safety factsheet (2016).

About the Co-op’s Young Driver Policy Co-op Insurance pioneered telematics in 2011 and offers a graduated product in response to the positive impact its telematics policy has on driving behaviour. Since the launch of its telematics policy, Co-op has given back over £13 million for good driving.

About Co-op Insurance: Co-op Insurance is part of the Co-op, one of the world’s largest consumer co-operatives with interests across food, funerals, insurance, legal services and health. It has a clear purpose of championing a better way of doing business for you and your communities. Owned by millions of UK consumers, the Co-op operates 2,600 food stores, over 1,000 funeral homes and it provides products to over 5,100 other stores, including those run by independent co-operative societies and through its wholesale business, Nisa Retail Limited. It has more than 63,000 colleagues and an annual revenue of over £10 billion.

About Brake Brake is a national road safety and sustainable transport charity, founded in 1995, that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies.

We do this through national campaigns, community education, services for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.