London has been named home to the UK’s safest drivers, according to the nation’s
biggest provider of telematics insurance, Admiral, while motorists in Southampton are
the least safe.
Analysis of data from thousands of telematics black boxes’ by Admiral LittleBox
revealed that of all the major cities in the UK, drivers in Southampton are more likely
to be heavy footed on the brakes, more likely to accelerate excessively during their
journey and overall least likely to record a top score for their driving from the
Thankfully, just over 4% of motorists with Admiral LittleBox drivers recorded speeds
of over 100mph with the overwhelming majority of drivers unlikely to hit such
excessive speeds when behind the wheel.
Looking at extreme speeds, Admiral found that despite drivers in London being most
likely to record a high score overall for their driving there are some exceptions. A
higher percentage of drivers in London hit speeds of over 100mph than in any other
city in the UK, with 5.7% of drivers recording this dangerous level despite recording
an average journey distance of just 4.28 miles.
Meanwhile, drivers in Cardiff – who record an average journey distance of 4.77 milesare least likely to hit speeds of over 100mph, with just 1.9% of motorists there
recording the high speed.
Despite a national speed limit of 70mph, drivers in Bristol record the highest
percentage of journeys at speeds over 75mph, with over 4.6% of journeys recorded
at 5mph above the national speed limit. Bristol drivers are followed closely by those
in London (4.5%) and then Edinburgh with 4% of journeys above 75mph.
When it comes to heavy braking, those in Southampton are more likely to brake
harshly than drivers in any other city in the UK, excessively applying the brakes an
average of four times per journey. That’s twice as many times as drivers in Belfast,
Edinburgh and Liverpool, where drivers brake harshly an average of twice per
Regionally, those in the North West of the UK are least likely to brake harshly –
recording less than one occasion per journey. When it comes to fast acceleration, drivers in Southampton are also more likely to put their foot to the metal more times while driving than anywhere else, with an average of 2.3 times per journey.
Comparatively, those in Belfast are least likely to accelerate quickly, recording an
average of 1.5 instances per journey.
Head of LittleBox at Admiral, Gunnar Peters, said:
“Our analysis of telematics policies has found some big differences between the cities and regions across the UK when it comes to driving behaviour. Of course, every driver is different, and telematics measures an individual’s driving, but it’s interesting to see that overall drivers in some areas show better driving habits than in others.”
“The information collected by our telematics technology is used to help people get a
car insurance premium based on how they drive, not how their peer group drives. We
actively provide customers with feedback on their driving behaviour and, if
applicable, tips on how they can improve behind the wheel.”
“If you feel like you’re being punished for other people’s bad driving, and particularly
if you’re a new driver or young driver then LittleBox could help you get a lower price
for your policy.”
Insurance Edge Comment:
Here we have a classic example of a press release which tells us nothing. How can a speed of 100mph be safe in London, or the Home Counties, except perhaps on the M25 at 4am on a midsummer morning? Is hard acceleration sometimes necessary to overtake a slow vehicle in Southampton, rather than a menace to society?
The short answer is we don’t know, because the circumstances of each journey are unique and every driver has a different skill set, plus even a good driver has bad days, or their luck runs out when an illegal driver with no documents suddenly pulls a right turn in front of them. Data is raw, it needs a great deal of time and analysis to make sense of the bigger picture.
Road safety isn’t intrinsically all about speed, or heavy braking/cornering. It’s about appropriate speed for the conditions and being able to react cat-quick when an emergency happens – was heavy braking that prevented a collision safer than smooth braking that resulted in a low speed crash?
As IE has noted before, there is a culture of using the roads as a Grand Theft Auto game location on weekends, and another culture of simply ignoring everyday road traffic laws such as VED tax, MoT and insurance. These two serious problems should be the focus of the government, the Police and the insurance industry. Those who refuse to take out insurance cover must face a more serious penalty than having their £500 Gumtree sourced Peugeot 307 seized.
That is no deterrent at all – and you don’t need a telematics device to understand that basic maths.