New research from Co-op Insurance has revealed that more than half of young drivers feel intimidated and bullied whilst out on the road…
Bullied On The Road
Of 24,000 surveyed drivers surveyed by Co-op Insurance aged between 17 and 25, a quarter claimed to feel unsafe due to other drivers and a third feel they’re put under unnecessary pressure on a weekly basis. In addition, four out of five young drivers in possession of black box technology report being tailgated. A further three-quarters have been overtaken when it was unsafe to do so and half have been on the receiving end of rude gestures.
As a general rule, young drivers have a poor reputation when it comes to safety. But the Co-op’s research noted that 94% of them self-report as being ‘good drivers’. Some 58% say they don’t speed and 38% report having never been in a crash. Whilst 68% have been in a crash of some description, they were not at fault in at least 39% of the collisions.
The research also included the views of 4,000 motorists aged 26 and above. Of these, 35% admitted they weren’t sufficiently mindful of other drivers. Just shy of nine in ten said they often felt frustrated with other drivers. Half of them admitted to using their horns in anger and a quarter had sworn at a fellow motorist; 80% all them stated that they were familiar with black box technology. But 69% of younger drivers wish people were aware that their cars were fitted with it.
As a result of its research, Co-op Insurance has produced ‘T-Plates’ which, it hopes, will raise awareness of telematics (or black box) technology; causing drivers to be more respectful to younger motorists. They’ll be fitted at the rear of a car, in the same way as ‘L’ and ‘P’ plates. As a part of a six-month trial, 24,000 drivers with a Co-op black box insurance policy with be sent the plates.
Charles Offord, Co-op Insurance managing director, explained the rationale behind the scheme. He said, “it’s unacceptable that so many young drivers are feeling pressured by others on the roads. Ultimately, every driver should be adhering to speed limits and driving in line with the law. But we know that isn’t always the case. Instead of being role-models, too many older drivers are exacerbating what is already a testing time for new and less-experienced road users”.
He continued, “drivers with black boxes will see their insurance premiums increase, or in some extreme cases, their policies cancelled if they don’t drive as they should. Yet, currently it’s impossible for other motorists to know if another vehicle has a black box fitted. Young drivers want other motorists to understand this and that’s why we’re launching the T-plate”.
Whether the initiative will make life easier for younger motorists is anyone’s guess. However, it’d be interesting to consider how useful, in a practical sense, ‘L’ and ‘P’ plates are. Both learner and newly-passed drivers, after all, report receiving poor treatment on the road network…
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