An insurance company’s black box has been hailed as life-saving technology. This comes after analysis revealed it is dramatically slowing down young drivers’ speeding.

In 2019, 88 people aged 17 to 24 lost their lives on British roads. A further 1,234 youngsters were injured while behind the wheel.

Furthermore, 287 people, including passengers and pedestrians, were killed in crashes involving a young car driver.

The Department for Transport Select Committee’s report also reiterated that while young drivers made up only 7% of all licence holders, they were involved in 16% of fatal and serious crashes.  Speeding in the age group remains a serious problem.

Need for speed

Police records show that 37.9% of crashes involving young drivers involved either “careless” or “reckless” driving that was “too fast for conditions” or “exceeding the speed limit”.

Road safety charity Brake’s survey found this young demographic were 20% more likely to drive at the highest speed compared to their older counterparts.

Solving the conundrum

A number of methods continue to be used to try and combat the problem. These include technological-based insurance cover for young novice drivers.

Data provided by one of the UK’s largest specialist motor insurance brokers, Adrian Flux, suggests that Black Box/Telematics insurance policies positive influence young driver behaviour. Their analysis shows their ‘FluxScore’ black box offering is reducing the number of significant and gross speeders by 60% and 70% respectively. Crucially, it achieves the values of 42% and 52% after 90 days showing longer-term success at reducing speeding.

Help on its way

When Ayesha Jenkins’ car ended up in a ditch in snowy conditions, the FluxScore system was a great support. “It was really nice to have someone there to speak to as soon as it happened. You’re sort of in a state where you don’t really know what’s going on,” said the 18-year-old.

“It’s definitely technology that can save lives. Mine wasn’t a serious accident, but if someone is unconscious after a crash with this black box in the car, someone is going to know.”

Ayesha believes rural roads are a particular problem when it comes to young drivers. The isolated crash scenes often mean victims are not found until hours later. This time lag can prove to be a matter of life and death.

“A lot of people think they’re limited by having a black box but it’s not limiting them, it’s actually helping them become a better and much safer driver. I don’t drive fast and I had a crash. No one wants a black box when they start driving because they want to go as fast as they can and not have their driving monitored. But I’d stand up for black boxes even before I had the accident.”

Rural recklessness

In 2019, 73% of young car driver fatalities occurred on rural roads. A recent report by the A highlighted this as an ongoing and pressing issue, especially for young inexperienced drivers.

Reducing speed not only helps prevent accidents, it significantly reduces the severity of injuries. Just 0.6mph increase in speed results in a 3% higher risk of a crash involving injury, according to the World Health Organisation.

The need for slower and safer driving remains across all ages. Black box/telematics technology can and, is, having a significant impact on reducing speeding and injuries.