New data shows that telematics is improving road safety

22 November 2011

New data from The Co-operative Insurance shows that the introduction of telematics technology is leading to better driving behaviour from Britain's young road users.

Intelligence gathered from The Co-operative's 'smartbox' scheme for Road Safety Week (21 to 27 November), shows that more than a third of drivers (35%)* are consistently showing 'excellent' driving while less than 5% demonstrate 'poor' driving habits.

The Young Driver scheme, which was launched earlier this year, measures driving behaviours including speed, braking and cornering. It then scores these from one (poor) to five (excellent) and rewards discounts on insurance premiums to those who score consistently well.

So far 92% of women have been rewarded with a discount for safe driving, compared to 97% of men.

David Neave, Director of General Insurance for The Co-operative, said: 'Our data shows that the vast majority of our customers are responding to our 'carrot' rather than 'stick' approach and are improving their driving skills because they are rewarded for doing so.

'Our scheme is only in its infancy, but it is clear that if telematics was taken up on a larger scale it could be a major step forward in improving the safety on Britain's roads.'

According to road safety charity Brake, one in eight UK licence holders is under 25 yet a quarter of all serious road accidents involve people in this age group. Research also shows that more than a quarter of young drivers (26%) without telematics insurance admit to regularly breaking speed limits.***

Data from the Young Driver 'smartbox' also shows that four fifths (82%) of 17 to 25 year-olds achieved the top score for sticking to speed limits, although only a tenth (13%) scored top marks for braking and accelerating.

Chart shows percentage of customers who achieved a top score of '5' in each category**

Men Women
Speed 80% 83%
Cornering 52% 51%
Night time driving 34% 44%
Braking and Accelerating 12% 14%

The findings also show that although equal numbers of males and females are achieving top driving scores, men are still more likely to make mistakes. Twice as many men as women received the lowest score in the speed category and three times as many men achieved the lowest score for braking and accelerating.

David Neave said: 'An interesting picture is emerging of the driving behaviour of both sexes, and while they demonstrate good driving overall, women are more consistent in their approach. Overall, although young drivers show that they can stick to speed limits, which is vital in improving road safety, there is a lot of room for improvement when it comes to allowing correct braking distances and accelerating properly.'

Road Safety Week is run by road safety charity Brake to highlight the number of accidents on Britain's roads.

Additional information

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* 35% is the proportion of customers who have achieved the top 'overall' score of 5
** The categories are not equally weighted
*** Research carried out by The Co-operative Insurance, 2011

About The Co-operative Banking Group

The Co-operative Banking Group, formerly known as The Co-operative Financial Services, is the banking and insurance arm of The Co-operative Group, which is the world's largest consumer co-operative with around six million members, over £14 billion turnover, and core business interests in financial services, food, travel, pharmacy and funeral care. The Co-operative Group has over 5,000 retail trading outlets.

Following the merger with Britannia on 1 August 2009, the organisation is one of the largest and most highly diversified mutual businesses operating in both retail and corporate banking markets.

As part of The Co-operative Group, the business is characterised by its unique ethical and member reward policies and very high levels of customer advocacy.

The Co-operative Banking Group has £70 billion in assets, 12,000 staff and nine million customers. It has over 300 high street branches, 20 corporate banking centres and major presences in Manchester, Leek, London, Plymouth, Skelmersdale and Stockport.

It is the only mutual organisation that enables its members to earn financial rewards for the products they hold, as well as giving them the opportunity to have a say in how the business is run.