Vehicle Telematics

"The God’s Chauffeur" explains the importance of telematics in driver behaviour education

     Telematics – a silent life saver?

It happened just over 3 years ago. A light-bulb moment and certainly an industry game changer for me. It was something that had an unprecedented effect on my thought processes and how I was able to bring my expertise and experience to ensure an improvement in driver and driving safety for insurance companies, TSP’s and fleet operators. And rolled into these significant industry groups, was a sector that desperately needs new safety goals, standards and principles – young drivers.    

This ground breaking flash of inspiration could become a future game changer … a life saver by default. The impact this could have on every driver deploying telematics could be seismic … but only if it has a magic ingredient sitting alongside the telematic devices. Call it a revolution in driver safety that happened by accident (excuse the pun).

Paul Ripley “The God’s Chauffeur”

In my 38 year career in the safer driving industry this potential colossal impact had never been possible before, but here it was, looking at me in the face and saying to me … just do it Paul! Make it happen and push this life saving ideal to all global markets. That was 3 years ago and here I am now – doing just that, turning this wonderful concept into reality and taking it to the insurance, TSP, fleet management and OEM markets globally.  

So what is this wonderful product and how could it mean lower loss ratio for insurers, lower crash frequency and severity whilst having a positive effect on lowering global road deaths?

It is something that will bring a BIG change in the insurance and fleet operator sectors. It is something that is set to transform the way insurance companies set new parameters on the driver risk they cover and something that will grow exponentially over the next few years.  Plus for fleets, it covers some compliance and litigation issues by providing driver audit trails, duty of care, corporate homicide and corporate social responsibility. And its impact on society could eventually be huge.

Yes its vehicle Telematics, but it’s not just vehicle Telematics – it’s a significant value-added capability on top of this. There are lots more to come from these life-saving pieces of technology. So for the moment let’s forget some of the great things that Telematics offer insurers, so we are able to concentrate on and life-saving technology they bring to market.

A fact often forgotten is that Telematics assess and evaluate driver behaviour, safety and driving style perfectly. No need for the traditional online driver risk assessment which, quite frankly, never got my vote. To people like myself, this is truly magical as the assessment is unbiased and without interference. The data capture and quality analytics tell us what we need to know about driving behaviour. That’s this new products secure starting point.

When data is captured and analysed from Telematics devices there is often another (almost) secondary purpose to Telematics usefulness … the infamous drivers Score. This is where part of the problem lay and it’s also where the Telematics value chain stops. Dead in its tracks.

Whilst a driver’s score can be useful as it rates driver behaviour and capability but what use is the driver score when no education or coaching follows it? Because of this crucial factor and the well-known ‘Hawthorn effect’ of telematic deployment can last a little as a couple of weeks, it becomes a dead-end.

Question; if the driver knew they were being monitored and measured before they received a Score – surely they would have been on their best behaviour during that assessment period, so how can they further improve using this equation? Could that be game over, when it really should be just starting?

The missing piece in the telematics value chain is driver education and coaching to ensure the Hawthorn effect of deploying telematics is extended exponentially. It’s essential that the education comes in the form, as our does, of a perpetual drip feed of engagement through refined ‘evidence based’ content which prioritises coaching principles and mentoring processes. Using this formula is the only way experienced drivers will ‘buy-into’ the process of furthering their own safety and fuel saving improvement through education.  

Plus this is where the real deal of ‘unsafe driving behaviour’ can be exercised. Safer driving for experienced drivers is not a skill-set … it’s a mind-set. It’s all about the critical human factors of attitudinal and behavioural elements that’s the real cause of unsafe driving

Skill doesn’t affect how we think and feel or how we act and react to situations. It has zero effect on emotions, mood swings and temper loss when confrontation and competition for road space follows – these have nothing to with skill. The mind is the BOSS as it controls almost everything a driver does; it’s called emotional instability and lack of mental discipline. The mind runs the show and almost forces drivers to do things they sometimes don’t want to, even though they know they’re potentially dangerous.

The DRD product embraces these hugely important safety related factors as I know the potent forces in a driver’s make-up and personality have nothing to do with skill or knowledge or even experience. The mental side of driving is the key to safety and our products revolves around these critical factors. Having studied driver and driving phycology and philosophy for some 30 years, this is the real danger that all drivers are faced with.

It is absolutely essential that the main focus on any education is engrained with elements that focus on the mental aspects of safer driving as everything before this, has always been skill based. Coupled with these essential human factors it’s also vitally important that every snippet of wisdom providers comes from the ‘carrot’ and never the ‘stick’. Incentivise, inspire and empower … through engaging targeted coaching and world class education.

Driver Risk Dynamics, the global leader in Telematic Driver Behaviour Education have just launched their ground breaking product to market which provides the missing link in the telematics value chain.

This evolutional driver coaching product is totally ‘evidence based’ on the drivers specific driving behaviour. The world class content which is written by a global safer driving authority; fits all drivers, driving any vehicle type, in any country and language.

For insurers we expect the product will lower loss ratio and crash causation, frequency and severity. The product enhances drivers’ skill sets, improves knowledge acquisition and facilitates behavioural change. For TSP’s and insurers it presents a differentiator in a market suffocated by parallel offerings.

And importantly for insurers, DRD provides frequent customer ‘touch points’ in a caring and friendly manner to grow relationships and help brand values, retention and loyalty.

The next generation in the telematics delivery value chain is here.

To know more about the company and its product portfolio, please visit their official website:

About the author

Paul Ripley is the CEO of Driver Risk Dynamics. In a stellar award winning career spanning over 3 decades, Paul has become a respected world authority on safer driving and his services are trusted by an array of the world’s top companies and prominent car manufacturers. His huge contribution to driver safety was recognised by HRH Prince Michael of Kent who awarded him the coveted ‘Prince Michael Road Safety Award’. He has the distinction of being called ‘God’s Chauffeur’ by the UK’s Daily Telegraph and ‘The Driving Doctor’ when appearing as the driving safety Guru on Channel 4’s ‘Driven’ TV program

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