Proof that young drivers can change their behaviour.

Proof that young drivers can change their behaviour.

According to the Department of Transport, about 80% of road fatalities involve males between 19 and 35 and the World Health Organisation’s global research shows that traffic injuries are the leading cause of death among people aged between 15 and 29 years old. While inexperience accounts for much of the increased risk, other factors include underestimating danger, speeding, late-night driving, distracted driving, not wearing safety belts, and driving under the influence. All of these factors contribute to the general perception that young people are not good drivers. However, Discovery Insure’s telematics empowered driver behaviour programme, Vitalitydrive shows that young drivers can be amongst the best drivers on the road.

Precious Nduli, Head of Technical Marketing for Discovery Insure explains, “Underpinned by key insights from the science of Behavioural Economics, our Vitalitydrive programme offers a powerful tool through which to monitor, track and reward good driving. Clients on the Vitalitydrive programme are rewarded for their evolution towards better, safer driving. Comparing Discovery Insure clients with young drivers who use our telematics technology we find that, despite their inexperience behind the wheel, our young drivers are really good drivers.”

One risky behaviour among young adults is late night driving. The chances of being involved in an accident are 10x higher between 23:00 and 04:30. One way of countering this is with a benefit that gives young adults great discounts for using Uber. Young adults show a 13% increase in their night drive score after activating the Uber benefit. In addition, there is an 11% decrease in their average kilometres driven in the late night time hours (23:00 to 04:30) per month, since activating Uber. This means that they are driving less at night.

“We are excited by these findings, reinforcing the power of our telematics technology to achieve safer driving, and reduce both accidents and claims to create a virtuous cycle of shared value. The programme is carefully designed to measure and improve driving behaviour to address the factors that increase accident risk among young drivers. Instilling safer driving behaviours from a young age, such as not speeding, not cornering harshly, not driving while distracted or when it’s late, become habit and create safer drivers in future,” said Nduli.

While our country’s requirements for a driver’s licence are strict, there is a need to encourage safer driving behaviour in young drivers from very early on. There are global efforts being made to encourage good driving from a young age. One example is the Safer Essex Roads Partnership #mysmallchange social media campaign focussed helping young drivers become better drivers. Discovery Insure’s telematics technology records and provides feedback on speeding, harsh braking, cornering, cellphone use, and the time of the trip to help clients improve their driving behaviour.

“We have even taken data from our Discovery Insure Driving Challenge and compared our young drivers’ behaviour with all other age groups who are not Discovery clients, and they perform better on these measures. It is evident that our young drivers are better than the average older driver who is a non-Discovery Insure client because they get immediate feedback on their driving and also get rewarded,” Nduli says.

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