Octo Telematics: Distracted Driving Cost UK Drivers over £10.8 Million in 2016

  • Motorists paid more than £3 million in fines.
  • Fines for distracted driving can result in cost of motor insurance increasing by more than 20%

LONDON--()--Octo Telematics (Octo), the number one global provider of telematics for the auto insurance industry, today released data showing the financial cost of using a mobile phone when driving.

Figures from the DVLA1 show that 32,980 CU 80 (Breach of Requirements as to control of a vehicle, such as using a mobile phone) tickets were issued in 2016, meaning convicted drivers paid out £3,298,000 in £100 fines for the year. However, the cost of a distracted driving ticket is more than just a one-off expense and can lead to other financial hits to the pocket. LV=, the third largest car insurer in the UK, estimates that a citation for a CU 80 offence could lead to more than a 20% increase in their insurance premiums.2 Based on an average £767 quote for fully-comprehensive insurance premiums in Q4 20163, and a load of 30%, convicted drivers would have paid a total extra of £7,588,698 for the year.

In 2017, traffic police issued 15,763 tickets for the first six months of the year, resulting in £2,612,900 in fines. The fine for a CU 80 increased to £200 on 1st March 2017 at the same time that motorists saw the average cost of car insurance rise as a result of changes to the personal injury discount rate as well as the increase in the Insurance Premium Tax.

Jonathan Hewett, Chief Marketing Officer, Octo Telematics said: “Distracted driving is a real threat to road safety. While we live in the age of the smartphone, not switching off behind the wheel costs lives and money. The police are doing an excellent job of enforcing road safety through fines and penalty points but cost can also act as a deterrent. Telematics devices encourage safer driving and reduce the likelihood of distracted and dangerous driving by providing insurers with data that helps them keep the cost of driving down with discounts for safer motorists.”

Telematics devices can gather data from smartphones and understand if the phone is being used for calls and active device handling, as well as whether the device is ‘awake’. Providers can then inform drivers of distracted driving activities and incentivize safe driving through rewards and reduced insurance premiums. Correlating smartphone use data with vehicle driving and contextual data can then be used to score distraction levels and this can be applied as an additional risk factor for usage-based insurance driver behaviour scoring and for insurers to coach drivers in order to reduce distracted driving.

Hugh Kenyon, Personal Lines Pricing Director at LV=, added: “Using your mobile phone while driving is exceptionally dangerous, putting both the driver and others around them in an extremely vulnerable situation. As a result, we take any fines received from distracted driving extremely seriously and the cost of car insurance can increase significantly. This is mainly because drivers with these penalties are more likely to make further claims. We would urge all drivers to not use their phone while driving. Taking your eyes off the road for just a few seconds simply isn’t worth the risk of being involved in a serious accident.”

A CU 80 offence stays on a driver’s license for four years, incurring more than £1,454 in combined fines and increased premiums expense at current 2017 insurance premium levels and dependent on subsequent years’ average premium price fluctuations. This is the equivalent cost of a 10-night, all-inclusive holiday in the Maldives or a new Apple Macbook Pro. A second offence could carry a much larger fine of £1,000 and a six-month ban from driving.

Data provided by Brake, the road safety charity, showed that in 2015, out of 1,469 fatal crashes in Britain that led to one or more deaths, 400 were caused by ‘failure to look’ and 101 were due to driver in-vehicle distractions, distractions outside the vehicle and phone use.

ENDS

Notes to editors

About Octo Telematics

Octo is the number 1 global provider of telematics and data analytics solutions for the auto insurance industry. Founded in 2002, Octo is one of the pioneers of the insurance telematics industry. Today, Octo is the largest and most experienced insurance telematics company in the world, transforming auto insurance through behavioural, contextual and driving analytics for more than 60 insurance partners.

Octo has more than 5.1 million connected users and the largest global database of telematics data, with over 165 billion miles of driving data collected and 417,000 crashes and insurance events analyzed (as of 30 June 2017).

Octo applies proprietary algorithms to this market-leading database to deliver powerful new insights into driver risk, informing solutions that benefit both auto insurance companies and policyholders.

The company is headquartered in London, with offices in Boston, Rome, Stuttgart, Madrid, and Sao Paulo.

For more information, please visit: http://www.octotelematics.com/

1 Octo submitted a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to the DVLA

2 Based on information provided by LV=. Other insurers may price differently.

Contacts

Octo Telematics
John Merva and Nelly Akpaka
020 7796 4133
press.uk@octotelematics.com

Contacts

Octo Telematics
John Merva and Nelly Akpaka
020 7796 4133
press.uk@octotelematics.com