A new study has revealed that women are better drivers than men, finally settling the debate of which sex is best when it comes to motoring.
The study, by British comparison website Confused, also found that young drivers aged 17 to 25 are among the best on the road when compared with other age groups.
Researchers monitored the way motorists react to real-world driving conditions, taking into account anticipation, pace, acceleration, braking and cornering using GPS data from smart-phone app, MotorMate.
Five hundred participants drove more than 400 kilometres using the app and were then given a score out of 100.
Drivers aged 65 years and above scored higher than all other ages with an average score of 78, ahead of drivers aged in their early thirties and late forties, with both groups scoring 77. Drivers aged 25 and under scored a close third with an average score of 76. Motorists aged in their early forties received the lowest overall score of 71 out of a possible 100.
The app mimics in-car telematics technology, where a ‘black-box’ device is fitted to a car to monitor driving behaviour. Elsewhere in the world, motorists are installing telematics in their vehicles to save money on their car insurance premiums.
At the moment, Australia lags behind countries including Britain, Italy, South Africa and the United States in the use of telematics. But experts say there will be “decent progress” in its use here over the next five years.
Stephen Mills, business analytics optimisation strategy Lead, UK and Ireland, at IBM, said telematics is about grabbing factual data about what we do day-to-day in our cars.
“That’s compared to how it traditionally is at the moment; when we get a car insurance policy it’s based on what I might do, where I might drive, where I might store my car overnight, how many miles I might drive,” he said. “That’s changed to how you actually drive.”
The so-called black-box technology allows insurers to more easily assess risk and price policies more accurately, and says Mills, it’s promising to introduce a new and very different way to insure cars.
“It’s all about a new way of getting close to your customers, understanding what we do, when we do it, how we do it and enabling insurance companies to give you a policy based on your specific driving approach,” he said.
Michelle Hutchison, spokeswoman for RateCity, said the drivers who potentially stand to gain the most from this kind of technology are likely to be the ones already driving safely and whose premiums already reflect their record.
But, she says, there could be some benefit in telematics for drivers whose age, for instance, predetermines their risk profile.
“Typically, under 25s will pay a higher premium for car insurance because they are perceived to be a higher risk of accident in the eyes of a provider. Telematics could be one way to help a young person reduce their premium if they demonstrate safe driving skills,” she said.
“But a less invasive way to help reduce the amount you pay for comprehensive car insurance is to simply jump online and compare policies and premiums using a site like RateCity and select the most suitable option for your circumstances.”