• Harnessing the power of tech to keep deliveries on schedule - read our feature in Supply Chain Digital Read More
  • Investor in Customers award us top 3-star accreditation for ‘Exceptional’ customer service levels. Read More
  • Article 50 triggered: 4 tips on how to address key changes for fleet managers Read More

Drive to your advantage - Can you save money with the little black box?

With the onslaught of economic gloom we’ve had thrust upon us recently, it would be unthrifty of us to pay over the odds for any service or commodity that neither provided us with a return on investment or provided no benefit in some shape or form to us personally. Emotional shopping habits can lead us into craving things that we may not need but lust for nonetheless. More and more so, we are looking to tighten the purse strings and make the most of our money.

Car insurance can be a killer blow when it comes to pricing ahead for the month, year, or any other time of the year ahead. Sadly, this is a legal requirement and will be leaving your bank account if you wish to drive without fear of being pulled over for participating in illegal activity. Insurance premiums; it’s a well-known fact that they can be a costly expense many of us could do without. On the other hand, there is a relatively new little black box that can be attached to your car that falls under the title-tag of telematics. Part of the USP of this is the fact that you can reduce your rate if you’re a better driver. Yet, could we be fooled into thinking that we are better drivers than we actually are?

According to an estimate from a recent report from SBD, it has been predicted that by 2017, 19 million drivers will rely on telematics for their insurance policies. So, what do telematics analyse about your driving and will they benefit you? 

Not only can this save you money in regards to insurance but also in terms of fuel consumption. With fuel a necessity to any driver, the cost price is something that will always affect your driving style. Not only can using telematics save you money, but it could also save your life.

 

Time of Day

By avoiding driving at the hours of 11PM-6AM you can improve your insurance premium, as these are classed as dangerous times to be on the road. In fact 49% of fatal crashes happen at night. Nevertheless, if you set out in your insurance policy that you won’t drive in these times and you break these then you will be in a risky position and your insurance premium could increase. However, if you don’t use your car in between these times, then you could save a substantial amount of money and reduce your current premium.

Although each telematics system will be different in their merits; in terms of insurance they will all work on the same basic principle of a point system to determine how good a driver you are.

Speed

Speed is often something many people worry about, especially in terms of telematics due to the nature of being tracked. The technology will make it known if you go over the speed limit. Dependant on the situation you may be in; you may need to increase acceleration and speed for a short time, such as overtaking. These will be registered but will also be taken into consideration as part of your overall drivers report, meaning if you are always law-abiding and within the speed limit then this shouldn’t flag up anything untoward. If you are constantly breaking the speed limit though this will affect you and you could end up paying more. Being aware that your driving is being analysed is likely to make you a better driver.

Although benefits vary from person to person; it’s ultimately only you who can judge if you think you’re a good driver. Whether or not it benefits you is dependant entirely on your personal driving habits but by having this installed it may encourage you to become a safer driver. Being able to prove it is just the icing on the cake!

 

EU Regulations

On the 21st December 2012, taking gender into consideration when calculating an insurance quote became illegal due to potential discrimination and sexism. As a female, this means it is a very real possibility that your insurance quote could go up. By using telematics you can prove that you are a safe driver and therefore be able to reduce your cost to less than you may be paying already. According to Scott Kelly, head of motor insurance at Gocompare.com, ‘Young Female Drivers’ will be hit even harder. This just shows how benefits the little black box can offer. According to a report from the Association on British Insurers , young men are set to be the most likely to benefit, seeing an average decrease in premiums of up to 10%. Young women’s insurance costs could increase up to 25%.

 

Harsh Accelerating and Braking

This is important as part of fleet safety as well as for the independent driver. This means if you have a mobile workforce; you may want to take into consideration their driving behaviour/s. By assessing these, not only could you potentially save money but also track how safe they are on the roads. Surely, the reputation of a branded vehicle is going to reflect back on your business so it’s something that should be seriously considered. In terms of insurance, it will be registered every single time you aggressively accelerate or break, if these are common then it is unlikely for you to be considered a safe driver. The same applies again in terms of overall driver profiling as it is expected that at some point you may have to perform an emergency stop or equivalent but if it is noticed as an excess then it will hurt your future claims.

 

Any Sudden Impact

Due to the nature of driving, there is a real risk that collisions could happen. Any sudden impact on your car is going to be registered. This could potentially benefit you in need of a claim when it isn’t your fault due to the negligence of another driver. Sudden impact, when registered, could also play a part in saving your life. If it is flagged up that there has been the possibility of an incident on the road then then this can be logged and sometimes, if appropriate, reported to the emergency services so help can be sent.

 

Cornering

Eyes are the main thing that steers your car, not your hands, so there would be no reason to move your hands a considerable amount. This is a basic skill taught in driving now; this is an important move in making sure you tackle successful cornering. Take corners slow and steady and be careful with your accelerator when driving round a bend. Be very wary, as it is your responsibility as the driver to be safe. Pedestrians; they may be out of sight but never out of mind.

 

The Roads You Use

This will affect your driving score, but if you are within speed limits then it shouldn’t be detrimental in any way. If you use a high-speed road, such as a motorway every day; to get to work for example then you may get a recommendation to slow down your average speed, but as long as the driving is safe and lawful this shouldn’t make much difference. This said, if you can avoid busy roads and motorways then the statistics produced about you could improve drastically due to better driving conditions. Also, the more you drive then the increased chance you have of having an accident so driving less will reduce your cost too.

 

How To Save Money As A Business

By effectively using your fleet management system you can analyse your drivers speed to encourage slower and safer driving. Branded vehicles are top priority when it comes to representing your business. By having your logo proudly displayed on your vehicle you are using your car/van/lorry etc. as a moving advertisement; if your employees drive badly or are involved in an accident due to driving without due care and attention it reflects badly on your company due to negative brand association. This said, with a monitored fleet, drivers who drive well are rewarded having the proof that they were driving safely. It’s not worth underestimating the repercussions this could have on your business. Image is a vital marketing strategy.

 

Access and Ease of Data

By having the access to this information immediately this can help you track your own driving habits; meaning that you can develop yourself as a driver by looking at where you need to improve. In terms of security too, you will be able to find your car if it is stolen or lost.

 

Conclusion

It is possible for the little black box to benefit you as an independent driver but also as an intelligent business move. Insurance wise especially, but also to protect your branding, and essentially your life. This article here shows how crashes have been cut 20% in young drivers; which is important to every road user. Not just seasoned professionals.

Given crash statistics we can all see the benefits of driving safely. This benefits our pockets too though; with the price of fuel ever increasing, by adjusting your driving habits you can save fuel too. These can be as simple as shifting to a higher gear as early as possible, driving at a slower speed and driving smoothly. Also, checking your tyre pressures will benefit you, as this can reduce your fuel bill, but is also a legal requirement. The legal limit for minimum depth of the tread on your tyres is 1.6 millimetres, across the central ¾ of the tread around the complete circumference of the tyre. These boxes tend to be between the size of a deck of cards and a mobile phone; they also use less energy than a car radio.
 

Leave a comment