Business Technology

Sunday 22 October 2017

The online game that's aiming to lower young drivers' insurance premiums - and stop road deaths

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Stock Photo

Daniel O'Connor

An Irish company have developed an online game that aims to assist in lowering the insurance premiums of young drivers by promoting road safety.

The game developed by BoxyMo.ie sees players drive down the road, gaining points for driving safely by avoiding various obstacles.

However, what appears to be just a regular 8-bit arcade game on the surface has a greater purpose; to ultimately help in lowering the accident rate on Irish roads amongst young drivers.

While the current death toll on Irish roads represents a 12.5pc decrease when compared to last year, Boxymo believe that more needs to be done when it comes to educate young drivers.

Managing Director of MCL Insurance, the operators of Boxymo.ie, Gary McClarty described the company’s intentions in developing and releasing the game.

“The passion from the game came from promoting road safety," Mr. McClarty said.

"We thought that this was a fun and noble way to promote some of the messages around this area.

"It looks at some of the most common causes of accidents, such as using mobile phones, drinking and driving, drugs, speeding, distractions like putting on lipstick.

"It was really about trying to develop a game that’s fun, but at the same time it gets a very serious point across about trying to avoid those pitfalls. That was the main driving force."

Players are urged to learn from both gameplay and embedded road safety statistics embedded through the game, such as "the primary cause of 9 out of 10 collisions is human behaviour."

This game is also hoped to have a knock on effect on another problem that all young motorists face today; insurance premiums.

The cost of motor insurance continues to be a barrier to driving for young people around the country, with the annual cost frequently exceeding €3,000 for a 17-year old male.

It’s a problem that’s affecting drivers of all ages too: a recent report from the Department of Finance found that motor insurance were 19pc higher than January 2003 (an average increase of 1.3pc per annum) as of July 2016.

Boxymo offers a telematics insurance service, utilizing a small box installed in the car to monitor a driver’s performance to adjust insurance premiums accordingly.

Mr. McClarty is hoping that if the game has an impact of young driver’s awareness of road safety, it could see a gradual decline in the premiums of young drivers.

"We’re not going to prevent all road accidents but if we can severely reduce the frequency, that’d be great," Mr. McClarty said.

"Of course, if the accident rate falls, premiums should fall as well. At the end of day the cost of insurance is driven by accident frequency and claim pay-outs so if we can see that frequency fall, it should have a knock-on effect on premiums."

BoxyMo consulted with the Road Safety Authority (RSA) during the game’s development, and hopes to work in conjunction with the body in the future.

"Them being a public body, it’s difficult for them to officially promote something like this," Mr. McClarty said.

"We continue to talk to the RSA though, as there’s a lot of information we have from our black boxes that we hope we could share. It would be something we would like to do in the future."

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