Technology can tackle distracted driving

It’s time to use telematics in the battle against motorists using their phones behind the wheel.

With 8,000 motorists caught on their phones behind the wheel in a single week, Selim Cavanagh, vice president telematics at Wunelli, said, ‘It’s clear that there needs to be a complete re-education and shift in attitudes towards this offence. At the end of the day, anyone using a mobile phone whilst driving is breaking the law and risking their life and the lives of others in the process.

‘Thanks to the increasing sophistication of telematics data analytics, most telematics insurance products enable insurers to detect whether a motorist is using a smartphone at the wheel – whether hands free or hand held. In fact a driver using a mobile phone produces data similar to that of a drunk driver. With this knowledge the possibility opens up to engage, educate and incentivise customers to drive more safely.

‘What’s more, consumers who don’t use their mobile phone at the wheel want that fact to be reflected in their premium. LexisNexis Risk Solutions research conducted with Consumer Intelligence found that 78% of motorists think that the price they pay for insurance should be linked to their driving behaviour. Furthermore, 60% think avoiding any type of mobile phone use – including both text and calls – should be a top factor used by insurers in offering lower premiums.

‘It’s clear that consumers want to be rewarded for driving safely and particularly if they can prove that they don’t use their mobile phone whilst doing so. Telematics-based motor insurance can help open up that exciting possibility for insurers.’