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Insurance: new driving risks and the search for solutions

Insurance: new driving risks and the search for solutions

Friday, April 14, 2017

An important post for car fleet managers, insurance companies must now factor in the widespread use of smartphones at the wheel. In some countries, like the Netherlands, Arval is looking for simple technical solutions.


The figures speak for themselves. According to an Inserm/Ifsttar study (November 2011), 50% of drivers use their telephone while on the road. Youngsters, men and those driving for professional reasons are most at fault. Using a phone triples the risk of having an accident, and 1 in 10 of accidents in France resulting in bodily injury are linked to using a telephone at the wheel. Furthermore, the Sanef Observatory for road behaviour (2016) has seen an increase in accident and mortality indicators for the first time in 10 years.


The trend is far from trivial, with 4.9% of people holding their mobile while driving, up from 3.7%. And to top it all off, a 2015 ASFA study found that 56.7% of those interviewed admitted to calling someone while driving. Even worse, 30.7% said they had read emails and texts.


A rise in accidents and subsequent claims inevitably lead to higher insurance premiums. One of Arval Netherlands‘ solutions is a hardware-software hybrid. The idea is simple: when driving, the smartphone screen is locked (after 30 seconds of inactivity, the touchscreen is deactivated again). However, taking hands-free calls is still possible. The solution has been undergoing trials since December 2016.