Innovative new technology provides new methods of encouraging road safety

Auto insurance industry eyeballs new technology to help with distracted drivers

Distracted Driving StatisticsMany people believe that they are safer drivers than the average motorist, but this overconfidence in their ability can actually cause some people to be more dangerous on the roads than their skills require them to be.

These individuals often feel that they are very good drivers, but that it is others who are the road users causing accidents. However, true road safety is dependent on the behaviors and decisions of individuals who understand the strengths and limitations of their abilities and take appropriate measures to work with them.

There have been many measures taken in order to reduce the number of accidents that occur on the roadways. Today’s fatality rates are lower than they’ve been in the past four decades. However, as much as they may be falling, there are still very startling crash statistics coming from our roads.

In Australia, from the years 2000 through 2009, there were 15,000 people killed as the result of car accidents. Over 300,000 people had to be hospitalized from being in car crashes.

That said, many individuals aren’t seeing any real incentives to focus on becoming even safer drivers. What many people are finding is that the safer a road system may be, the less an individual driver is encouraged to take specific care while behind the wheel. Regardless of what individual risks are out there, the police system, the social pressure, and the legal and financial penalties, it remains relatively inexpensive to be a dangerous driver.

Among the leading problems is, as mentioned, driver overconfidence. Motorists with this problem underestimate the risk to themselves, their property, and other road users. Furthermore, they lead to a sizeable price tag for the rest of society. Only a small segment of the estimated $27 billion per year in annual road crash costs are actually paid for by the at-fault individual.

Drivers use insurance to protect themselves against the sizeable financial liabilities that are associated with a traffic accident. However, while insurance coverage has been watering down the incentives for driving more cautiously, insurance companies are making greater efforts to reduce this problem. It isn’t anything new for insurers to offer discounts to drivers based on their good histories, but now they are taking a step beyond that by offering discounts based on present driving behaviors.

Telematics solutions are making their way into Australian insurance and through these technologies, solutions are being integrated into telecommunications and mobile computing to allow drivers to prove their good driving behaviors to insurance companies and then reap the rewards.

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