Research from the UK road safety charity, Brake, shows that drivers aged 17 to 19 make up 1.5% of UK licence holders but are involved in 12% of serious or fatal crashes. Moreover, one in four young drivers (23%) are involved in an accident within two years of passing their test.
To help young drivers stay safe, MORE Th>n has launched SM>RT WHEELS, a car insurance product usingTelematics is the use of technology to record data on how an object is being used in real-time. Examples include 'black boxes' in cars and mobile phone apps that can record how the car is being driven (its speed, location and fuel consumption); home monitoring devices; or collars that monitor a pet's activity.
, aimed specifically at 17-24 year olds.
Focusing our UK road safety campaign on younger drivers in 2015 gave me a great opportunity to learn more about SM>RT WHEELS - motor cover that uses black box technology installed in the customer's car.
These devices allow the SM>RT WHEELS team to monitor the customer’s driving data in real time – how fast they drive, how they brake – to establish their overall driving style. At first, this sounded slightly ‘Big Brotherish’ to me but having seen how we use the data to benefit customers I would now encourage everyone to get a black box.
Creating a win-win situation
If the customer drives safely and scores well, they get up to 10% of their premium back in the first year as cashback on a SM>RT WHEELS prepaid debit card. If the team identifies unsafe driving styles, they contact the driver and talk them through how to improve their scores. A win-win situation.
It is having a genuine impact on driving styles. I am so impressed with the passion that Kenny Leitch, our Global Telematics Director, and our SM>RT WHEELS team have for keeping young drivers safe. During 2015, we worked with the team to launch two new campaigns.
Firstly, we made a film about the potentially devastating impact of driving without control. It is not an easy watch, but it is so important for young people to understand that the split second choices they make can have lifelong consequences. I have huge respect for Jason who features in the film. Jason regrettably made a mistake he has to live with but is doing all he can to stop others from doing the same. Watch the film and share it with friends and family.
To raise awareness about the impact of music on driving styles, MORE TH>N also developed and released a song, 'Safe In Sound', scientifically designed to encourage safe driving habits. The piece was composed by musicians collaborating with Dr Simon Moore, a Chartered Psychologist, and an expert on the influence that music has on driving behaviour. See what you think of the song by listening to it here.
Road safety is a key issue in Denmark too. Codan has run successful campaigns for many years, with volunteers handing out high-vis vests and reflectors to raise awareness of the importance of night visibility.
During 2015 they specifically targeted young people too, with research showing that this age group is not keen to wear reflective clothing.
They teamed up with the Child Accident Prevention Foundation and a young designer, Soulland, to create a reflector collection that appealed to younger people. They recruited a well-known Danish rapper, Kesi, to model the collection and promoted it through social media channels. It received lots of attention and will hopefully lead to more young people wearing reflective kit.
Road safety is such an important issue for our business. We are delighted with the impact and reach of our campaigns and hope they go some way towards making our roads safer.