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AAMI launches safe driver app

By  AAMI

AAMI launches safe driver app in response to the rise in dangerous driving behaviours

Risky and dangerous driving behaviours are on the rise among young Aussies, prompting insurer AAMI to launch a Safe Driver smartphone App to combat the problem. 

According to new research revealed in AAMI's 14th Young Driver Index, almost 86% of drivers aged 18-24 years old say they have experienced distracted driving in the past year, while one in seven (14%) admitted to taking a 'selfie' or video while behind the wheel and uploading it to social media. 

AAMI spokesperson Reuben Aitchison commented: "This is a disturbing trend emerging among young drivers and shows that talking and texting are only part of the problem posed by smartphones nowadays, and it needs to stop.

"It is, perhaps, ironic that we are employing the device at the heart of this problem to combat it."

However, it's not just distraction that's a problem for young drivers. The research found that over the years speeding and reckless driving behaviors have also risen, while nearly one in five (19%) young drivers have been in a car when the driver has momentarily fallen asleep at the wheel. 

"AAMI's Young Driver Index research is showing some terrifying behaviours among young drivers and that safety messages about the dangers of fatigue, distraction and speeding are not getting through to them," Mr Aitchison warned. 

"In recent months we have developed a smartphone app that looks at addressing these key areas, to encourage and reward safe driving."
The new AAMI Safe Driver App uses GPS technology to track driving journeys and assess driving behaviours. The app provides a driving score and feedback at the end of each journey relating to a range of measures including; speeding, accelerating, hard braking, phone usage, length of trips and how many breaks you have, so drivers are aware of their fatigue levels. 

 

The higher the score achieved, the higher the app rates the driver's performance and those who achieve a score over 60 are rewarded for driving safely with free AAMI Roadside Assist for a 12-month period when they take out or next renew an AAMI Comprehensive Motor policy. 

Mr Aitchison said: "It's important to highlight that there's no need to interact with the App at all while driving as it automatically detects when you start and stop driving and never interrupts your journey. In fact, we recommend drivers put their phone on silent before driving and keep it out of sight at all times to avoid the chance of being distracted by incoming calls or texts. All feedback, complete with hints and tips on how to improve your driving, are also provided at the completion of each journey so it's not an added distraction for drivers." 

"One of the cool features of the app is that it creates a map of each journey, and identifies the points on the journey where an 'incident" occurred.
"This is not a cure-all and it is designed to provide added support to road safety campaigns, police enforcement and safe driving education. But our pilot study of more than 1000 drivers strongly suggests that the use of the AAMI Safe Driver app positively impacts driving and most certainly improves awareness of driving behaviours," he concluded.

Additional key findings

  • 37% of young drivers admit to ignoring the speed limit when they knew there were no cameras around.
  • The proportion of young drivers speeding to get to work or home sooner increased from 43% in 2011 to 50% in the latest Young Driver Index.
  • 80% of young drivers admit to being unsure what the speed limit is at times.
  • 35% of young drivers if tired when driving, were not likely to stop and have a power nap, while half say three or more hours is the longest time they are willing to drive without taking a break. 
  • 17% of young drivers admit to having a near miss in the past year while using their phone or tablet.
  • Almost a quarter (22%) of young drivers admit they cannot wait to get to their destination if someone calls or texts - they HAVE to read or answer it then or there.
  • 38% of drivers aged 18-24 years old have experienced an accident in the last five years, the most of any age group, while two thirds (69%) believe their most recent accident was avoidable.