Young drivers are safer if their telematics data is shared with parents

Installing a dash cam and accelerometer in a young person’s car could reduce dangerous driving.

Tom Harrison
Content writer
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Posted 17 SEPTEMBER 2019

Parents being able to see how their children drive could cut crash rates, new research shows.

According to a report carried out in the US for the RAC Foundation, in-car cameras and ‘accelerometers’ – a feature of telematics technology – could cut accident rates if the information is shared with parents.

Parents often have control over who drives the car as they have paid for it. Therefore, new drivers are more likely to moderate their behaviour if they know what they do at the wheel will get back to their parents, Dr Bruce Simons-Morton, author of the report, says.

Learning through experience

The report, Keeping Young Drivers Safe During Early Licensure, highlights the dilemma faced by novice drivers. Better driving takes practice, but new drivers are at significant risk each time they get behind the wheel.

There is evidence, though, that young drivers can drive relatively safely when they are with their parents. Sharing dash-cam and telematics information is a way of parents having a permanent presence in the car, even when they’re not there physically.

Accident statistics

The RAC Foundations says that although each young driver is different, their inexperience and age make them disproportionately vulnerable to accidents. A quarter of people killed or seriously injured on roads in Britain between 2013 and 2015 were in accidents that involved a driver aged 17-24, even though this group held only 7% of full driving licences.

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, who commissioned the study, said: “This report doesn’t suggest that dash cam footage replaces Strictly or The Voice as regular Saturday night family viewing, but it does argue that greater parental appreciation of what their children get up to behind the wheel can be beneficial.

“Whilst teenagers may baulk at the idea of mum and dad effectively supervising their every trip, a constant parental presence, delivered through technology, has been shown to moderate risky behaviour behind the wheel.

Dan Hutson, Head of Motor Insurance at Compare the Market, said: “The report shows that telematics can encourage safer driving. And of course, it’s also the case that the technology can lead to lower insurance premiums for young drivers.”