4th December 2018

Trak Global Group calls for telematics to be at the heart of the Government’s road safety programme

Trak Global Group, the company that provides the technology for approximately 1 in 4 young driver insurance policies in the UK, said that telematics technology must play a leading role in the government’s plans to improve road safety.

Speaking after the government published its 50-point strategy to tackle road justice and protect vulnerable road users, Trak Global director Andrew Brown-Allan said: “The UK is a world leader in telematics and has delivered a major reduction in accidents among young drivers using this technology.

“In our young driver insurance business Carrot, we’ve seen a 42% reduction in accidents among customers using our telematics, compared to young drivers with a traditional insurance policy. We also know that Carrot customers who check their driving score more than four times a week are 39% less likely to have an accident.

“And in the market as a whole, telematics has driven down claim-related losses for insurance companies and helped reduced casualties by 35% among 17- to 19-year-olds since 2011. This compares with 16% of the driving population as a whole.

Andrew said: “Telematics makes a significant contribution to road safety and we have found that having learned to drive safer and better, our customers carry that behaviour through to adult driving.”

Andrew explained that almost a million young people in the UK use black boxes to improve their driving and reduce their insurance premiums. According to Brake, teenage drivers are involved in 9% of all fatal and serious crashes, despite making up just 1.5% of licence holders in the UK. Around one quarter of young drivers crash within two years of passing their test.

Andrew said: “The more encouragement the government gives to telematics, the more we can reduce accidents.” He welcomed a recent DfT initiative, Driver 2020, where 14,000 motorists will see their vehicles installed with telematics boxes – which record speed, braking and cornering behaviour – for a road safety trial. As part of the Driver 2020 initiative, Trak Global is also developing a free telematics app for learner drivers, which will enable students to keep track of their progress and easily identify areas of improvement.

Andrew added: “The focus for ministers is on using increased legal sanctions against motorists who, for example, tailgate cyclists, or increasing sentences for dangerous driving, but in our view a longer-term solution is to harness the educational benefits of telematics and improve the way young people drive in their early years.”

But the use of telematics is not restricted to young drivers. Andrew explained: “As people grow increasingly used to tracking their everyday behaviour, such as by using smart fitness wearables and apps like Strava, the appetite for telematics amongst the mass market is growing considerably. In parallel the cost of telematics technology has reduced drastically in recent years, making it an ideal tool for achieving large-scale road safety improvements in the UK.”

Telematics can also help reduce the environmental impact of vehicles, with better driving resulting in reduced fuel consumption.

“With its proven track record in cutting accidents and its wider benefits to society and the environment, I’d like to see the use of telematics incentivised by the government – including through the tax system – and put at the heart of its road safety programme,” concluded Andrew.