Connected insurance can incentivise safer driving | Automotive World

Philip van der Wilt explores how insurance companies can harness the power of data and work with connected operations to promote safer driving

When it comes to driving for a living, nothing is more important than road safety. Which explains why fleets continue to invest considerable time and resources in protecting their drivers and other road users. Despite this, recent UK government figures reveal that deaths and serious injuries in road collisions caused by vans, trucks and buses have returned to pre-pandemic levels. This may go some way to explaining why fleet managers are turning to modern technology and using real-time data to improve driver safety.

Creating safer roads through the use of technology

Dash cams have long been used to capture footage of road incidents to see exactly who is at fault. Today, though, those cameras can now be connected to the cloud to send footage directly to fleet managers so that, in the event of a collision, drivers can be extricated on the spot. And more advanced AI dash cams now provide drivers with real-time in-car alerts, which can be used to pre-empt accidents on the road by warning them if they’re speeding, tailgating or driving too aggressively.

Dash cam technology provides important insights into road accidents

What’s more, all this information can be used as part of ongoing fleet training initiatives to improve driver performance and safety, which, in turn, can reduce accidents. In addition to helping to protect drivers and other road users, a technology-focused emphasis on safety can also reduce costs.

Cooperation with insurance companies is important

As insurance costs make up a large proportion of a fleet’s deployment – ​​not least because of the rise in road accidents – these same safety-focused technologies and data can be used to reduce claims and therefore premiums. As fleets continue to advance and digitally transform their operations, they are now able to better identify and work closely with insurance companies to mitigate risk. Insurers typically price policies by looking at generalized data, such as historical data on where a car is driven and the average number of road accidents that have occurred in that area over the past ten years.

The problem with this approach is that it creates a one-size-fits-all risk profile that penalizes more safety-conscious fleets. This is why fleets and insurance companies are now starting to use the vast amount of data produced daily to provide an accurate and real-time risk profile. Using real-time telematics data, insurance companies can now pay premiums that truly reflect road safety risk rather than relying on generalized historical data.

As fleets continue to advance and digitally transform their operations, they are now able to better identify and work closely with insurance companies to mitigate risk.

The prospect of lower premiums helps encourage safer driving which, in turn, leads to fewer accidents and incidents. As a result, more fleet managers are actively working with drivers to improve safety scores and reward schemes.

As fleets become more connected and take advantage of new technologies that provide insightful, real-time data, there is a tremendous opportunity for all stakeholders to promote safer, more sustainable driving practices. If companies continue to work more closely with insurers and technology platforms to improve road safety, all the evidence suggests that this could lead to safer roads. And that should be in everyone’s interest.


The views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of Automotive World Limited.

Philip van der Wilt is Vice President, EMEA, Samsara

The Automotive World Comment Column is open to decision makers and influencers in the automotive industry. If you would like to contribute an opinion article, contact editorial@automotiveworld.com

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