In addition to insurance companies collecting driving data to tweak policy terms and coverages, motorists themselves can benefit from the insights and warnings that car-based telematics systems offer.
Here are four ways that this technology can enhance driver safety.
Bringing attention to unsafe driving behavior
Auto telematics devices have GPS trackers, accelerometers to track acceleration and braking, and the ability to read onboard diagnostics via the OBD II connection.
The data collected gets sent to a mobile app so that the driver can get information about their behind-the-wheel performance. For example, they may see how fast they drive in different road sections, and how abruptly they apply brakes.
With this feedback, drivers may realize they have certain unsafe habits that they were completely unaware of before using telematics. They can then adjust their driving style to improve overall safety.
Helping to stay mindful during drives
Telematics can help drivers stay mindful during drives by providing real-time feedback regarding their driving performance. Once they are aware that their performance is being tracked, they may become more conscious of their driving style and pay more attention to speed, braking, acceleration, following distance, and signaling.
If they use a telematics device connected to their auto insurance, drivers also have a financial incentive to remain mindful of their habits on the road. Some insurers offer up to 40% off premiums for drivers who demonstrate safe driving habits.
Monitoring younger drivers
Younger drivers are often inexperienced behind the wheel and unaware of the consequences of making mistakes at high speed. Parents can use telemetry devices to monitor their children's driving behavior. They will receive alerts that can identify unsafe driving behaviors, use data to help their young drivers correct any bad driving habits, and have the ability to tie vehicle privileges to safe driving performance.
Telematics driving apps
Drivers can receive feedback on their performance via mobile apps connected to the telematic devices in their car.
These applications use data from the connected device to provide feedback related to safe driving performance that can promote safe vehicle operation in other ways.
Here is a look at two Verizon solutions that promote safe driving and offer additional information that can help drivers avoid dangers and receive alerts about potential problems with their vehicles.
Hum by Verizon
Hum uses both an app and a piece of equipment that easily connects to your OBD port under the dash. It has GPS and other data collection components that can assess driving performance and offer insights to motorists via a mobile app. Hum uses variables like speed, braking, cornering, and acceleration to provide a driving score, setting a benchmark that drivers can attempt to improve by changing habits.
Hum also offers speed and location warnings, a connection to roadside assistance and emergency services, and alerts about vehicle maintenance needs.
Smart Family App
The Smart Family App uses motion sensors in smartphones to detect movements and assess driving performance. This application is designed for parents who want to monitor the safety and activity of their driving-age children.
Like Hum, this tool offers speed and location reporting for parents that can identify unsafe driving behaviors. The app also monitors phone use so children are discouraged from talking or texting when on the road. Crash alert and response features are also a part of this application.
Whether at home or on the road, telematics provides data and alerts that can improve the safety of drivers, homeowners, and their families. All projections suggest that this technology will become even more common over the next few years, bringing more safety tools to vehicles and homes.