Better Safe Than Sorry-71 Per Cent Of Drivers Believe Other Road Users Should Improve Their Safety

  • One in five men never feel safe when driving (24 per cent), compared to one in 10 women (11 per cent)
  • Over half (59 per cent) of Brits have had at least one accident on the roads
  • Men are 10 per cent more likely than women to be involved in an accident

New research from leading price comparison site MoneySuperMarket today reveals that the majority of Brits (71 per cent) believe that other road users could do more to improve their driver safety.

With over 1,700 fatalities on the road from September 2016 to September 2017 alone[1], MoneySuperMarket reveals how smarter driving technology could help cut down costs and improve driver safety.

The number of car accidents is on the rise, with those in the North East being the most likely to have had at least one accident (28%). Although the majority of Brits think driver safety could be improved, 63 per cent would not take out a Pass Plus qualification, despite this being designed to help drivers improve their skills and drive more safely.

The research found that over half (55 per cent) of drivers did not pass their test first time and those who took more attempts to pass went on to have more accidents. In fact, those who took five or more attempts to pass are nearly 1.5 times more likely to have been involved in an accident than the average.

The research also found that UK drivers on average rate themselves a confident eight out of 10 on the safety of their own driving. This is despite 35 per cent of those who rated themselves a six or above having been involved in two or more accidents. While confidence remains high, weather conditions were a primary concern when it came to safety and driving (57 per cent) followed by driving at night (30 per cent) and driving on the motorway (22 per cent). Those over 55 in particular felt less safe driving in severe weather (67 per cent).

Young drivers are often hit with the highest insurance premiums, as insurers will often deem this demographic as ‘high risk’. In fact, just under half of Brits (44 per cent) consider younger drivers to be the least safe drivers. In spite of this, the study found that over half of 18-24 yearolds (52 per cent) had not had any car accidents and nearly half (47 per cent) of 18-24 year olds passed their driving test on the first try, compared to just 34 per cent of 25-34 year olds.

Some smarter driving technology methods, such as reverse cameras, can help to improve the view of the road and the space around, reducing the number of accidents on the road and injuries or exterior damage made while parking or pulling out. Despite the advantages, the research found that only 17 per cent of Brits use reverse cameras.

Other examples of smart driving technology include:

  • Black box – Telematics, more commonly known as a black box, is a system that monitors how an individual drives, with data sent to the insurance provider. The idea is that driving responsibly is rewarded with lower insurance premiums. However, although they are cost effective and can help to bring down insurance premiums, an overwhelming 64 per cent of Brits would not consider using ‘black box’ telematics.
  • Dash cam – The most common device among drivers due to cost and ease of use, dash cams provide a 24hr recording of the front view of your car. This can be invaluable in insurance claims purposes, as well as encouraging the driver to show greater care in their driving. This can cost between £20 and £190.
  • Collision alerts – Usually a part of the vehicle sensor system or rear-view camera, collision alerts (sometimes referred to as automatic emergency braking) function as a prevention device. In the event of a potential collision, this autonomous system can intervene by slowing or even stopping the car.

Kevin Pratt, consumer affairs expert at MoneySuperMarket, commented: “Technology is revolutionising the way we drive and it is having an increasingly noticeable impact on insurance premiums. In addition to telematics policies, which reward safe drivers with lower premiums, insurers are beginning to take safety features, such as automatic braking, into account when setting their prices.

“The number of fatalities on UK roads is still tragically high at around 1,700 a year, but it has fallen from highs approaching 8,000 a year in the 1960s. Much of this reduction can be attributed to safer cars, which are designed and built to protect both the occupants and pedestrians.

“Over the coming years, we’ll see a growing proportion of autonomous vehicles on the roads and it will be fascinating to see how this affects car insurance prices. It’s believed that up to 90% of accidents are caused by human error, so if human error can be reduced or even eliminated, there will inevitably have a benign impact on premiums.

“But safe drivers can bring down their premiums almost straight away. Every year you are claim-free, you will earn a no claims bonus, which, after five years, could knock 70% or more off the cost of your car insurance.”

Visit MoneySuperMarket for more information about the costs of smarter driving technology and how it can improve driver safety on the UK’s roads.

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