Exploring the psychology behind safer driving


Posted by Media Team on 28 June 2016

Marmalade, leading provider of cars and insurance for young drivers, has reviewed more than 1.8 million journeys to find out why its telematics customers are easily amongst the safest young drivers in Britain. Marmalade has consulted with leading clinical psychologist Dr Nicola Ridgeway to further understand its drivers’ safety records.

Dr Nicola Ridgeway (pictured to the left), Consultant Psychologist and Clinical Director at West Suffolk Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Service, says: “The use of telematics technology to encourage better driving draws on some elements of the psychological phenomenon, the Hawthorne Effect. This study demonstrated that people alter their behaviour when they have an awareness of being observed.

“The Hawthorne Effect may well explain why Marmalade’s young telematics drivers will, on the whole, drive more safely. If a young driver is aware that their behaviour is being observed they are more likely to perform better behind the wheel and so in this case, score higher on their journeys.”

Marmalade insures drivers aged 17 – 24 years-old, who are statistically the most likely to have an accident. Having reviewed more than 1.8 million journeys using its telematics data, the insurance company has found that on average its young drivers are achieving a safety score of 97/100 for each trip.

Marmalade’s telematics focuses on ABCS: acceleration, braking, cornering and average speed. The telematics device measures the g-force created by these actions to measure driving skills.

Bobby Hopkinson (pictured to the left), a 17-year-old learner driver and Marmalade ambassador, says: “When I’m in the car with my instructor I’m really aware that he is keeping an eye on every mirror check and manoeuvre, so I want to get it right. For my and others’ safety on the road, I will look to get telematics insurance once I pass my test to make sure I don’t get lazy and let my driving slip. It’s also the cheapest way for a newly qualified driver to get on the road.”

Crispin Moger (pictured to the right), CEO of Marmalade, says: “We’re proud of our impressive safety record and are always looking for ways to help our young customers drive better. It’s interesting to note the psychological effect of the black box encouraging better behaviour behind the wheel and safer driving. According to studies, the Hawthorne Effect wanes over time however due to our unique approach in combining innovative black box technology supported with family involvement, feedback and education from our fantastic customer care team; the effect remains constant for our young drivers.

“It’s great that we can offer a product that ensures young drivers, their passengers and other roads users are safer but this is by no means the end of the story. There is much more to be done to make sure our young drivers are safe, and we’re continually investing in innovative technology to keep improving our safety record.”