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Mon, Dec 17, 2018
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New research has revealed that the number of 17 to 19 year olds killed or seriously injured on UK roads in the last six years has declined by over a third.

Road casualties in this age group have fallen by 35 per cent since 2011, which is more than twice as much as the entire driving population as a whole, which fell by 16 per cent.

This marked reduction in the youngest of driving casualties was dubbed ‘compelling evidence’ that telematics black box insurance policies – of which four in five young motorists have today – are improving road safety standards.

Black box safety benefits: New analysis of road casualty rates has shown that deaths and serious injuries involving the youngest drivers have declined by 35% since 2011. The fall is being linked to greater adoption of telematics insurance among 17 to 19 year old drivers

Black box safety benefits: New analysis of road casualty rates has shown that deaths and serious injuries involving the youngest drivers have declined by 35% since 2011. The fall is being linked to greater adoption of telematics insurance among 17 to 19 year old drivers

The analysis of road casualty statistics was conducted by LexisNexis Risk Solutions, which said black box insurance policies had played a role in ‘cutting road casualties among the youngest and most vulnerable drivers’.

According to the British Insurance Brokers’ Association, almost 1million motorists had a telematics policy in place in the UK.

This requires the motorist to have a black box fitted to their car that monitors their actions behind the wheel and not only relays the information to their insurance provider but also affects their driving score – thus impacting their premiums when it comes time to renew – but also gives insurers to opportunity to educate new drivers about being safer on the road.

In return, young drivers are rewarded with lower insurance costs, which can be astronomically high for this age group.

Over 75 per cent of 17 to 19 year olds have chosen this type of cover, and older drivers are also starting to benefit from the technology as it becomes more widely available.

Telematics provider Marmalade said earlier this year that its young drivers are three times safer than the UK average with only one in 15 having an accident within the first six months of passing their test compared to the UK figure of one in five.  

The 35 per cent reduction in road casualty rates in 17 to 19 year olds reported by LexisNexis is also despite the 10 per cent increase in the number of vehicles on the road between 2011 and 2016 and a seven per cent increase in the number of driving licences held across all ages since 2012.

As more drivers take up telematics insurance policies (blue line) the casualty rates (orange line) have generally declined

As more drivers take up telematics insurance policies (blue line) the casualty rates (orange line) have generally declined

As more drivers take up telematics insurance policies (blue line) the casualty rates (orange line) have generally declined

Graham Gordon, director of global telematics at LexisNexis Risk Solutions, said the insurance sector 'deserves a great deal of credit' for developing products that promote safe driving

Graham Gordon, director of global telematics at LexisNexis Risk Solutions, said the insurance sector 'deserves a great deal of credit' for developing products that promote safe driving

Graham Gordon, director of global telematics at LexisNexis Risk Solutions, said the insurance sector ‘deserves a great deal of credit’ for developing products that promote safe driving

Graham Gordon, director of global telematics at the business said: ‘Our analysis of road casualty statistics factors for key road safety advances such as improved roads, better junction design and new car safety technology – but the patent downward trend in the 17 to 19 age bracket points to an additional factor at play, 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.’

The research comes at a time when policy analysis shows a decline in the cost of telematics policies.

LexisNexis claims they have dropped by as much as 50 per cent since 2013, meaning they frequently turn out to be the most affordable policies when young drivers search for motor cover on comparison sites. 

Reginald Pitcairn, 77, is one older driver using a telematics policy. Despite losing his no claims discount in a minor crash last year, his premiums rose by just £3 because black box data showed he's a safe motorist

Reginald Pitcairn, 77, is one older driver using a telematics policy. Despite losing his no claims discount in a minor crash last year, his premiums rose by just £3 because black box data showed he's a safe motorist

Reginald Pitcairn, 77, is one older driver using a telematics policy. Despite losing his no claims discount in a minor crash last year, his premiums rose by just £3 because black box data showed he’s a safe motorist

Tim Marlow, head of autonomous and connected vehicle research at insurer Ageas said telematics could now play an important role in reducing UK road casualties, which have flat-lined in recent years.

‘It’s good to see that telematics are both giving young drivers access to insurance products designed to meet their needs and reducing the number of young drivers who become casualties,’ he said.

‘Future developments of this technology offer the potential to reduce casualties amongst other age groups, making a welcome contribution to our stagnated casualty reduction targets.’

Total deaths on Britain’s roads in 2017 –  including pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists – remaining almost unchanged year-on-year at a total of 1,793.

That was one more fatality than recorded in 2016, the Department for Transport said, though 1,153 fewer than a decade before in 2007.

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