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Smartphone Technology Provides Unique Insight


Posted on 28/10/16

New smartphone technology which analyses driving habits has suggested that cornering is the most common fault among local drivers and that women are better drivers than men.

The results also found that driving standards in every council area of Northern Ireland were good, with drivers in Newry, Mourne & Down coming in first with a score of 70%. Drivers in North Down & Ards were found to have a little more scope to improve with an average score of 65%.

The findings were produced by a smartphone app for younger drivers developed by Northern Ireland insurance firm Autoline. Used by several thousand customers, the app tracks journeys and provides accurate analysis of drivers’ speed, acceleration, braking and cornering.

Michael Blaney, Autoline’s CEO, said:

“Autoline was the first firm in Europe to link smartphone technology to an insurance policy and we launched ChilliDrive, our latest award-winning, next generation app, last year. The aim is to enhance driving skills, reduce car insurance premiums and, ultimately, improve road safety.

“While designed to give detailed feedback to individual customers, ChilliDrive is also providing some helpful insights into driving habits across Northern Ireland, particularly for younger drivers aged between 17 and 25.

“Users can see which areas need improvement and, interestingly, the most common fault - by a long way - is poor cornering followed by excessive braking. Speeding is actually the measure which drivers score best on. The positive news, though, is that the standard of driving across Northern Ireland is good.”

The stats also show that people tend to drive better during the day than at night, and that females are slightly safer drivers than males. When it comes to speeding, though, there’s very little difference between the sexes.

Based on council areas, the safest drivers were found to be from Newry, Mourne and Down, followed by Belfast and Fermanagh & Omagh. Although still reflecting good scores, drivers from Ards & North Down followed by Antrim & Newtownabbey and Derry & Strabane had more room to improve.

The lowest ranking for cornering was by drivers from Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, whilst the best ranking for staying within the speed limit was achieved by Causeway Coast & Glens motorists.

Suzanne Curtis, who manages Autoline’s road safety campaign, added:

“The app acts as an ever present in-car ‘mentor’ to improve driving habits.

As the level of claims made by ChilliDrive customers is lower than non-tech based customers, we’ve been able to negotiate discounted premiums which are on average £1,500 below the traditional car policy.”

Mike Bristow, Corporate Fundraising Officer from Brake, said:

“Although not a fully representative sample, this new data is an invaluable insight into the real driving habits of thousands of drivers in Northern Ireland.

“Young drivers are involved in a disproportionately high number of road crashes and this technology can help to provide them with useful feedback so that they can adjust their driving style to be safer. This app is an innovative way of engaging drivers with their behaviour on the road. It’s a major advance which helps give younger drivers the tools they need to take ownership of how to develop their driving.”

The app uses satellite imagery to physically locate where problems such as cornering occur and includes an accident reporter and a SOS button directly linked to a 24/7 claims service.

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