Data Study

Study: Risky driving costs more than we think

Study: Risky driving costs more than we think
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Key takeaways

The term “accident” is often a misnomer. It often has the connotation of being an event that happens by chance or without apparent cause. At Zendrive, we believe that most collisions simply aren’t chance occurrences. In fact, measurable human error causes 90% of collisions.

After analyzing more than 15 billion miles of driving behavior, we can measure risky driving behavior that causes collisions. This includes phone use while driving, speeding, hard breaks and rapid acceleration.

The results show that the riskiest driving behavior costs more than we think. But thankfully, there’s a fix.

Driving behavior results

We analyzed our dataset of over 15 billion miles and over 5 million active users. And we found something surprising: risk of human error is unequally distributed. In fact, it turns out that the worst quartile of commercial drivers account for over half of all commercial collisions, and the stats for personal drivers are very similar.

According to the National Safety Council, the average cost of a car collision was $7,500 in 2015. The riskiest drivers cause most of these collisions. These drivers are also the most expensive from a social and insurance perspective. We’re a mission-driven company working to improve road safety through data and analytics. And we can make the greatest impact by helping risky drivers improve their driving behavior. The Zendrive Dashboard helps fleets do just that.

Zendrive’s methodology

Zendrive measures driving behavior through sensors on drivers’ smartphones. Then, it uses sophisticated artificial-intelligence algorithms to understand, contextualize and rate every driving instance. The Zendrive Dashboard then shares the insights. A fleet manager can see both aggregate and individual performance, with drivers categorized as “Excellent,” “Fair” and “Risky” segments. Coaching and messaging based on performance gives a powerful tool for  reducing the overall risk of a crash, and thereby reduces expected costs related to road safety.

Our study, “Preventing Collisions and Reducing Fleet Costs while using the Zendrive Dashboard,” tests this measurement and feedback loop as a tool to reduce insurance risk and improve driving safety. That’s why we looked at 8 fleets (and their 21K drivers) that use Zendrive to manage road safety risk. We monitored their ability to improve the driving of the riskiest 25% through the coaching and insights available via Zendrive Dashboard.

Driving behavior key findings

  • The bottom 25% of drivers account for over half of commercial collisions. These are called “Risky” drivers
  • Fleets using the Zendrive Dashboard to control risk saw a 11.4% improvement in their riskiest drivers over the course of the first 250 days, as measured by the Zendrive Score, a comprehensive measurement of unsafe driving behaviors including distracted driving, swerving, and more
  • They reduced their likelihood of getting into a collision by 49% during those first 250 days, as calculated based on industry standards using commercial auto frequency relatives
  • This safety boost translates into $874K to $2M of estimated reduction in losses for Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability per 1000 risky drivers each year, depending on the type of vehicle, business and limit in plan
  • Safety improvements remained over the course of the study (250 days) and are expected to persist over the driver’s lifetime

Understanding the behaviors and attributes of risky drivers puts us a step closer towards preventing traffic crashes. The Zendrive Dashboard serves as a powerful tool for improving driving behavior over time, saving both money and lives. We hope to see a decrease in traffic crashes in the coming years as more commercial fleets leverage Zendrive’s technology.

Download our whitepaper to learn more.

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