With all the available technology to use in your car it is fair to say that a 21st century driving experience is worlds apart from what it would have been only two decades ago. But what affect does this have on the cost of your insurance policy?
You would certainly think that with satellite navigation systems, smart phones and black boxes we all have the capacity to be safer and more identifiable, but are we also more easily distracted and therefore causing more accidents, resulting in having to pay more on our insurance premiums?
Satellite Navigation Systems
The technology used for satellite navigation systems was first available in a commercial format in 2001 when companies such as Tom-Tom and Garmin were able to use previous work on GPS receivers and package them into a more manageable size. The idea was simple, give road users an interactive mapping experience to ensure they are able to get to their destination and it has expanded ever since.
Over the past few years smart phones have been getting, well, smarter. They can do more than ever before as technology advances and the industry introduces new features, but has this affected our ability to drive? Using a hand held mobile device whilst driving is against the law and people who are caught will receive a fine as well as points on their license.
Around 1 in 4 car pile ups are blamed on people being distracted by their mobile phone although texting only accounts for around 5% of these crashes. If you need to use your mobile in the car then you must use a hands free kit, but be warned if the police think you are distracted and driving with undue care and attention then you can still get stopped and prosecuted!
Similar to the ones found in aeroplanes, you can have a small black box installed in your car which is able to collect all manner of detail about your driving. A black box can record the speed you are travelling at, the time of day, which roads you are on and your braking and cornering ability. They are designed to collect every little detail about your driving experience in the hope of building a bespoke insurance quote.
There are some drawbacks to the technology though – firstly there can often be an installing charge to get the box added to your vehicle and although this is unlikely to outweigh the savings it should still be a consideration. Secondly those who cover a lot of miles or have to drive at night time (where it is often considered less safe) may find no savings at all.