Young drivers under the lens: could recording driver behaviour reduce road trauma?

July 31, 2015, University of Melbourne
Young drivers under the lens: could recording driver behaviour reduce road trauma?
In-vehicle telematics can help young drivers stay on track.

Mark Stevenson, Professor of Urban Transport and Public Health at the Melbourne School of Design, has been awarded an Australian Research Council Linkage Grant of $530,000 to study young drivers aged 18-25 across Victoria in a program set to revolutionise the car insurance industry in Australia.

The first study of its kind, in collaboration with Insurance Box, the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) and colleagues from Monash University, will explore whether feedback and financial incentives have the ability to change ' behaviour behind the wheel.

"Young drivers comprise 13 percent of the population yet they account for 22 percent of driver deaths in Australia," Professor Stevenson said.

"The introduction of in-vehicle telematics is a technology that holds considerable promise with respect to reductions in road trauma."

The study will randomly allocate 200 young drivers who are currently insured by Insurance Box and have in-vehicle telematics installed in their cars.

"In-vehicle telematics enables drivers, insurers or employers (in relation to commercial vehicles) to collect safety-specific information on a driver's on-road behaviour and performance. Insurance Box was the first company in Australia to establish an insurance scheme that required policy-holders to have an in-vehicle telematics device installed in their car."

The device feeds information back to the driver through a smart-phone app that provides direct feedback on speed relative to speed zone, driving times, crash events and near-miss events as defined by rapid deceleration.

"Until now, there has been no comprehensive assessment of this new strategy and certainly no randomised trial using in-vehicle telematics as the framework upon which to set incentive-based insurance", Professor Stevenson said.

The four-year study will comprise two stages. The first will explore what form of insurance incentive should be offered. The second stage will examine whether the provision of direct feedback and/or incentive-based insurance leads to measurable change in at-risk driving.

Explore further: Women improve driving more than men following 'black box' feedback

Related Stories

Majority prefer driverless technology

July 22, 2015

While only a small percentage of drivers say they would be completely comfortable in a driverless car, a sizable amount would have no problem as long as they retain some control, according to a University of Michigan report.

Safety needs higher priority for young drivers

July 25, 2013

Safer cars should take a higher priority when buying a vehicle for young drivers and allocating car use within families, according to University of Adelaide automotive safety researchers.

Humour persuades young males to slow down

April 20, 2015

Graphic, strong threat or fear-based anti-speeding advertising campaigns are less likely to influence young males, a high-risk group over-represented in the nation's road toll, QUT research has found.

Recommended for you

Coffee-based colloids for direct solar absorption

March 22, 2019

Solar energy is one of the most promising resources to help reduce fossil fuel consumption and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions to power a sustainable future. Devices presently in use to convert solar energy into thermal ...

NASA instruments image fireball over Bering Sea

March 22, 2019

On Dec. 18, 2018, a large "fireball—the term used for exceptionally bright meteors that are visible over a wide area—exploded about 16 miles (26 kilometers) above the Bering Sea. The explosion unleashed an estimated 173 ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.