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Telematics feedback has more impact on female drivers

Friday 28th November 2014

A study by researchers from Trinity College Dublin suggests that young females are better at responding to telematics feedback than their male counterparts.

The study into the effectiveness of 'black box' telematics technology found that after training, and when presented with feedback on their driving performance, the driving behaviour of young women improved significantly more than that of young men.

The study was conducted by researchers in the School of Engineering at Trinity College Dublin, in partnership with the accident management company CRASH Services.

Dr Ciaran Simms, from Trinity College, said: "It was interesting to observe that feedback had more impact on women drivers. Approximately 80% of women drivers showed a change in their driving behaviour compared to 20% of men, and the training also had a longer lasting effect on women."

54 drivers aged between 17 and 22 years had their driving assessed over a 17-week period from April to July 2014. A 'black box' device was fitted to each participant's car to provide information on location, speed, acceleration, deceleration and cornering. The telematics solution then scored driving performance based on the frequency and severity of incidents of risky driving behaviour.

The volunteers were divided equally into target and control groups. Drivers in the target group were given access to their driving data and trained on the use of the telematics product and how the feedback could be used to improve their driving behaviour. After training, data on driving behaviour was collected for 13 weeks. During this period drivers in the target group were encouraged to view the feedback on their driving.

Dr Bidisha Ghosh added: "Although this was a small study, we believe that the results indicate that telematics technology, in conjunction with ongoing driver training or the incentive of insurance premium discount, has the potential to help young drivers improve their driving behaviour."

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I am driving at 50mph on a single carriageway rural road, that has been downgraded to 40mph. Does this 'speeding' make this "risky driver behaviour" and so be marked down?
The black box does not have a camera, so how can it be classed as "risky" when you do not know prevailing road conditions? Say bright sunny day or thick fog as too extremes!
It seems that drivers must judge their speed for condition up to the posted speed limit, but once over the posted limit they can't be trusted, as that is an absolute safe limit.
Men generally drive faster than woman and so get marked down, perhaps because they accelerate or corner faster.
Terry Hudson, Kent

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