Rural roads are more dangerous for business drivers

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Business drivers should be aware ... reading this Business Car Manager release they will be able to prevent a significantly higher risk of accidents when they venture into the countryside

Most likely to have an accident in rural areas are younger and less experienced drivers who may encounter more younger motorists in the lanes and who have a bad accident history.

Current insurance industry technology could help cut young driver rural road death figures by around 20%, and alert emergency services to accidents in remote areas as they happen - if the technology was adopted more widely.

Johan van der Merwe, deputy chairman of pay-how-you-drive car insurer Coverbox, says that telematics technology - which is used by some insurers to monitor driver behaviour - could have the same effect as a Police car or safety camera by the side of the road.

Mr van der Merwe was speaking as the National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs said it plans to speak to the government about the worrying level rural road deaths involving young drivers.

"Monitoring, not education, has to be the answer - young drivers simply do not absorb messages from road safety organisations, but they do change behaviour if they know they are being monitored," said Johan van der Merwe.

"Telematics is the answer; the technology is available here and now - but insurers are taking their time to adopt it. It is real-time, ongoing monitoring and tracking of driver behaviour, with data beamed back to insurers who can be alerted instantly and immediately of unusual or extreme driving events, whether excessive speed through an accident blackspot - or an accident itself. In fact, telematics has been responsible for alerting the emergency services of serious road accidents which may have remained unreported for hours - a potential life-saver when it comes to rural roads.

NFYFC National Vice-Chairman Milly Wastie and Youthwork officer, Jodie Green, met Mike Penning, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport to discuss the campaign, which will officially launch in November to help young people to drive more safely on rural roads through education and training.

According to a report by the Road Safety Analysis, young male drivers are 37% more likely to be injured in a road accident if they drive in the countryside.

Safety and driver training can be a particular problem for small fleet users but anyone can get help with a good company car driving advice .

It's also highly recomended to read Caroline Holmes' article about sharing the road with horses.

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Conrad Swailes