ingenie is a young driver insurance brand with a big focus on improving road safety.
Take a look at their new Young Driver Report 2017, dedicated to young drivers and supported by the opinion, industry figures and surveys of young people going through the process of learning to drive.
Using a black box fitted in the driver’s car, we collect data on speed, acceleration, braking and cornering. We then use the data to give the driver feedback and work out whether they should get discounts. It also lets us give drivers who aren’t doing so well the advice they need to improve and stay safe.
Partnering with experts
As a young driver insurer, we’re experts in how young people drive – we’ve collected around 850 million miles of driving data in the last six years. We’re also experts in how to talk to them and how to make insurance cheaper for their age group.
What we’re not experts in is the wider world of road safety. So, we’ve always partnered with the real experts who can help us do the right thing in trying to reduce the terrifying number of young driver crashes.
It’s often been said that private companies can do harm by trying to do good, and that’s why we’ve built our approach with the help of driver behaviour psychologists and road safety professionals. We’ve shown it works but we still consult with the people who know the issues inside-out.
We chose to partner with Brake because they’re a long-standing and hugely respected organisation. The work they’ve done in improving safety for all road users has inspired and informed our own work for many years.
How we can lower the number of young driver crashes
There are 2.7 million people under 25 with a full driving licence. That’s 7% of all the people with a licence in the UK. Doesn’t sound like a lot, does it? And yet the subject of young drivers is still top of the list for the road safety world.
Despite under-25s being such a small part of the driving population, they were involved in 22% of serious crashes in 2015. And there’s a very good reason for that.
It’s down to biology
The part of our brain that identifies risk and plans how to deal with it is the frontal cortex. It’s what stops you swearing at your boss, what tells you to run away from angry people with sticks and what lets experienced drivers avoid danger on the road instinctively.
But a 17-year old doesn’t have a fully developed frontal cortex. Nor does an 18-year-old, a 21-year-old or potentially even a 24-year-old. The scientists we’ve worked with in driver psychology reckon you’re unlikely to have that part of your brain in full risk management mode until you’re 25.
So what can we do?
Educate without preaching or editing
Young drivers are adults. They deserve to be told the facts and given advice that isn’t patronising or modified ‘for their own good’.
Telling a 21-year-old that speeding or taking drugs is illegal and then clamming up is harmful – it’s like saying the best way to avoid getting pregnant is abstinence. We know that a proportion of drivers will take risks, so they need to be discussed properly.
Equally, toeing the party line is a tradition in insurance. It’s notoriously complicated and you’ll rarely get a clear, honest answer to a question. As our approach relies on our drivers trusting our advice, we’re turning this around. Transparency in insurance – imagine!
We work with police, driver psychologists, road safety experts, driving instructors and insurance organisations to pool our power and help young drivers. We also ask our drivers what they think and address their questions through social media.
Together, we’re making a difference.
Incentivise good driving
We work on the incentive that if you drive well you could earn money off your insurance, but motivating our customers to become better drivers is much more than just reducing their instalments every three months.
We put a great deal of time and thought into championing our young drivers, from celebrating and sharing their latest set of ‘Good’ driver feedback on social media to sending them gifts with personal words of encouragement.
By backing their actions we’re ensuring that the customer knows we’re on their side - which in turn reinforces the good driving behaviour.
Intervene to potentially prevent a crash
Our driver feedback system works by sending the customer colour coded messages for each driving category (acceleration, braking, cornering and speed) every 10 days.
These colours are ordered by severity and range from green, ‘Good’ all the way through to black, ‘Highly Dangerous’. Alongside the colour category, the driver will also get a message containing a few lines of encouragement, advice or in the more serious cases – a warning.
We use these messages to intervene at certain points throughout the policy to not only avoid the insurance having to be cancelled for dangerous driving but more importantly, to prevent a crash.
Our Driver Behaviour Unit are dedicated to spotting drivers who may have developed some bad driving habits since passing their test – specifically with their braking style and speed. We’re focused on looking for patterns in a driver’s behaviour; so if we were regularly recording dangerous driving from the black box but weren’t acting on what we were seeing, we wouldn’t be doing our job properly. As we receive vast amounts of driving data every day, it allows us to separate out the drivers who are giving us cause for concern and get in contact with them when we’re worried.
By providing these drivers with some guidance and gently highlighting the consequences of their driving, it means that we’re in a position to intervene at crucial times and actively keep them and others safe on the road.
And that’s what it’s all about. We have a responsibility to our drivers and to road users in general: to help make driving safer for everyone.
Article written by Honor Clement-Hayes, head of copy at ingenie.