The Power of Developing an Understanding of Distracted Driving

Matt Chalk - October 24th, 2019

The Floow logo with Insurance Innovators logo

At The Floow, we see that there is a need to better understand a driver’s distraction levels when they are behind the wheel. At the upcoming Insurance Innovators event in London on 13th and 14th November, I will be delivering a talk on ‘The Power of Distraction’ and explaining how it is possible to measure this important risk factor, in order to increase profitability.

But why is driver distraction so important? 

It is well known that there are links between claims frequency and certain driving behaviours such as excessive speed and aggressive driving , however, the even larger risk factor of mobile phone distraction is often overlooked. 

Research shows that talking on the phone whilst driving increases a driver’s chance of an accident by four times, and, texting whilst driving increases this risk even further, making a driver 23 times more likely to have an accident. 

Research that we undertook earlier this year showed that driver distraction was one of the biggest causes of accidents and road deaths, with 84% of the 2,044 motorists surveyed admitting that they get distracted behind the wheel. 

So how can insurers manage this type of behavioural risk?

With telematics, the traditional factors associated with the vehicle, age, postcode, profession and claims history are no longer the only indicators, as, this technology introduces a new set of policyholder scores based upon an understanding of the true picture of a driver’s behaviour.

Although The Floow is a device agnostic provider, our focus on the use of the smartphone means that we can collect distraction data from drivers relating to how often they are distracted by their mobile phone over the course of a journey. 

This ability to collect valuable distraction data was the reason why we chose the smartphone to form the heart of our FloowDrive solution. Data collected from the smartphone allows us to calculate a distraction score for each journey completed by a driver, further informing an insurer’s understanding of a driver’s risk profile.

We also offer insurers a range of behavioural improvement options which they can add into their telematics insurance propositions, to provide added value to their policyholders. The data and insights collected from driver journeys can be used to help a driver improve their behaviour through the use of in-app feedback, driver coaching via our FloowCoach programme, or incentives via our rewards scheme.

These have all been designed to help a driver make positive improvements to their behaviour over time. By understanding and monitoring areas such as driver distraction, it not only allows insurers to offer engaging and differentiated propositions to their policyholders, but, it also allows us to work towards making the roads safer and smarter for everyone.

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