Anneli Retief – Head of Dialdirect Insurance
New research conducted by Dialdirect Insurance has revealed that lockdown has had a negative effect on motorists driving habits and adherence to the rules of the road.
The research compared driving behaviour data from thousands of motorists, obtained through Dialdirect’s telematics app, from 2019 to 2021 and overall for every kilometre driven in 2021 motorists are 40% more likely to be in an accident than in 2019.
One of the driving behaviours examined is speed, which remains a major contributing factor to the majority of road accidents in South Africa.
The data revealed that during lockdown periods, the percentage of people who drove above the speed limit has almost doubled, with male drivers being the main culprits. We have also found that driving above the speed limit makes you 80% more likely to be involved in an accident.
This need for speed was possibly due to the fact that during lockdown, there were fewer cars on the road, giving motorists who were behind the wheel free rein.
During lockdown, the well-documented dangers of using a cellphone while driving were also ignored. Motorists were using their devices 50% more while driving than before lockdown, probably due to the surge of virtual meetings. Motorists under the age of 30 use their phones about twice as much as those older than 30.
Regardless of age, our data points to the chilling fact that those that use their phones while driving are twice more likely to be involved in an accident.
It’s also apparent that South Africa’s lockdown curfew did not stop motorists from reducing their night time trips. This is concerning because we have found that night-time driving increases your chance of being involved in an accident by 60%.
Insights like these clearly points to the value of telematics, especially if there’s a dangling carrot in the form of rewards, back in cash, for driving right attached to it.
Knowledge is power. When you are armed with the facts, the stats and the cold hard truth about the consequences of disobeying the rules of the road, and are offered a daily reward for heeding them, it’s a win-win. Through our telematics programme we have found that those that do drive right are 51% less likely to be involved in an accident.
Thanks to shifting consumer needs and driving habits due to the pandemic, a significant number of motorists are expected to drive less in the future, making usage-based and pay-as-you-drive insurance, a popular choice. These changes also guided how we adapt our own telematics offering, to now benefit those who drive less or not at all.
Advancements in telematics technology has allowed us to gather valuable insights into driver behaviour. This is a powerful way for us to enable our customers to correct bad driving habits, therefore making them safer on the roads and rewarding them for doing so.