Making roads more dangerous could cut car insurance costs


University boffins are great at driving motorists crazy with crackpot ideas aimed at making the roads safer – and this time they have hit the jackpot.

After spending time and money looking at driver behaviour, a team of researchers at Newcastle University figure that making the roads more dangerous will help drivers concentrate more and lead to less accidents.

The idea has already clicked with one leading car insurer that thinks adding roadside hazards will keep accidents and claims down – and also lead to cheaper car insurance.

The university report is based on a survey that shows almost one in three drivers (31%) are easily bored, which leads to them speeding up and overtaking slow drivers just for the thrill.

Newcastle University’s Dr Joan Harvey said: “Contrary to what you might expect when driving, hazards can actually increase our attention to the road so this may well be the way forward for planners.

“In towns we may need to start considering some radical schemes such as removing kerbs so there are more hazards – like pedestrians – around your car. Our research suggests that this might actually improve people’s driving.”

Slowing thrill seeking drivers would reduce car insurance claims

The university came up with these findings after quizzing 1,563 drivers about the behind-the-wheel habits.

Besides the thrill-seekers, the team uncovered 35% of motorists were “enthusiastic” about driving – finding it challenging or interesting – and were less likely to have crashes.

One in five (21%) disliked driving and were slower on the roads, while another 13% were slow and safe drivers.

To The Insurance Blogger, the university’s conclusions look skewed.

They say 31% of drivers need slowing down by making roads more dangerous – but the results seem to show that the remaining seven out of 10 are slower, safer drivers anyway.

Also, insurance companies would love to see lower accident claims by shifting the costs – councils would have to pay for traffic schemes while car insurance firms would see their coffers swelling with less payouts.

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