Co-Op introduces Telematics plate to help young drivers

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Co Op Insurance. Nathan Parks, Rotherham. © Victor De Jesus/UNP

Over half (53%) of the UK’s 17 to 25-year-old drivers are being put under pressure to drive faster by other motorists, prompting the nationwide pilot of  a telematics, or “T-plate”.

According to a new report from the Co-Op insurance, called “Beyond the Box”, four-fifths (80%) of young motorists have experienced another vehicle driving too close to them, nearly three quarters (72%) have been subject to a driver overtaking them when it wasn’t safe to do so and over two fifths (43%) have been on the receiving end of rude hand gestures.

Almost a third (30%) of young drivers experience these behaviours on a weekly basis with one in four (23%) feeling anxious on the roads. The same amount (24%) said it made them feel unsafe.

Highlighting the extent of the challenge facing young drivers, over a third (35%) of more mature motorists aged 26 and over say they are not mindful of others on the roads. Over four-fifths (86%) often get frustrated by other road users, with almost half (48%) admitting to sounding their horns at others when angry, despite this being against the law.

When asked what would help young drivers feel safer on the roads, over two thirds (69%) said they wished other motorists knew they were driving with a black box and so must drive responsibly.

This holds true as the research found that four-fifths (80%) of motorists are aware of black boxes, yet nothing currently exists to indicate if a motorist is driving with telematics.

Therefore, in response to the findings, Co-op Insurance is launching a nationwide pilot of the “T-plate”. A new solution, backed by road safety charity Brake and RED driving school, it is designed to help young drivers feel safer on the road.

The plate, similar in look to an ‘L’ or a ‘P’ plate will indicate to other road users that the vehicle is fitted with a black box and so that driver will be driving safely.

Says Charles Offord, Managing Director of Co-op Insurance:

“It’s unacceptable that so many young drivers are feeling pressured by others on the roads. Ultimately, every driver should be adhering to speed limits and driving in line with the law, but we know that isn’t always the case.

“Instead of being role-models, too many older drivers are exacerbating what is already a testing time for new and less-experienced road users.

“Drivers with black boxes will see their insurance premiums increase, or in some extreme cases, their policies cancelled if they don’t drive as they should. Yet, currently it’s impossible for other motorists to know if another vehicle has a black box fitted. Young drivers want other motorists to understand this and that’s why we’re launching the T-plate.”

Adds Joshua Harris, Director of Campaigns at Brake:

“Young drivers’ combination of youth and inexperience makes them more likely to take risks and less likely to spot hazards – a potential lethal combination when behind the wheel.

Telematics can play a vital role in nudging young drivers to drive more safely and within the law, but this needs to be aided by the behaviour of the more experienced drivers on the road who must avoid aggressive driving and show patience to those with a lack of experience.”

Five most common young driver negative experiences

  • 4 in 5 (80%) have had other motorists driving too close to them
  • 3 in 4 (72%) have been overtaken when it wasn’t safe to do so
  • 2 in 5 (43%) have been on the receiving end of rude hand gestures
  • 1 in 4 (27%) have been shouted at by another driver
  • 1 in 5 (21%) have felt pressured to pull out at a junction when it wasn’t safe

 

 

 

Chris Price
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