General Insurance Article - Any in car distraction is a risk to young motorists

insurethebox responds to the proposals published today by the Transport Select Committee relating to the use of mobile phones in cars. insurethebox Road Safety Manager, Simon Rewell comments:

 “Any in-car distraction increases the risk for motorists and their passengers. However, the evidence is clear that mobile phone usage is a particularly significant distraction and not just for phone calls, but texting and messaging too. We, therefore, fully advocate the recommendations of the Transport Select Committee to redefine the offence of using a mobile phone or other device while driving, whether hand-held or hands free, and irrespective of whether this involves sending or receiving data.

 “We urge motorists to avoid ever holding a mobile phone while driving, and to resist the temptation of looking at the phone, even if stuck in a queue of traffic. The ‘do not disturb’ function that is now so common on mobile devices should be switched on before the start of the journey and the phone put in the glovebox so that there is no risk of distraction while driving.

 “Research we conducted in 2017 found that 30%[2] of drivers admitted to using a mobile phone while driving. The challenge, therefore, is to find more effective ways to enforce legislation and in that respect we would support a review of how technology can help. For example, there is evidence in other countries[3] of use of speed cameras to identify whether a mobile phone is in use by the driver, as well as whether everyone in a vehicle is wearing a seatbelt.

 “We also welcome the Transport Select Committee’s call for ‘a step change in the Government’s approach to public education’. Any awareness campaign proposed by the Government would certainly be supported by insurethebox. We reach hundreds of thousands of young drivers every year as part of our on-going communications with our policyholders and our proactive approach to tackling speeding through direct communication strategies has delivered clear results.”

 Over the past 3 years, as a result of its proactive communication programme, insurethebox has seen some 80,000 drivers reduce their speed by 21%[4], resulting in a 6% reduction in accident frequency. As a result, it estimates some 700 accidents have been prevented and 22 serious injuries avoided in this time.

 Through a telematics black box installed in the vehicle, insurethebox uses individual driver data to determine the risk profile of each policyholder and calculate their premiums. insurethebox shares driving data with customers through a personalised online portal, empowering them to better manage their driving habits in order to reduce their risk profile – and therefore their premiums. insurethebox policies offer an initial 6,000, 8,000 or 10,000 miles of cover and bonus miles can be earned for good driving behaviour.

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