Friday, 22 November 2013

Animated Film To Raise Awareness Of Ghost Brokers Amongst Young Drivers

Young motorists are being increasingly targeted by fraudulent companies selling fake car insurance for young drivers.

As a result an animated video warning newly qualified and young drivers of fraudsters has been released as part of a national awareness campaign by the charity Crimestoppers alongside the police and members of the insurance industry.

Check out the video below for more information:

These fraudulent businesses - also known as "ghost brokers", tend to target young male drivers with fake car insurance policies. With over 27.6 million cars insured in the UK last year alone and with new young drivers paying higher premiums many of these ghost brokers are profiteering off their misfortune by offering cheap deals online, in person, restaurants, cafes and even university and college campuses.

The problem with the policies these fraudsters are offering is the fact that young motorists are being exposed to a whole host of problems, including:

 - Driving without valid insurance - which means the young driver is not adequately covered.
 - The car could be seized by the police if it's not covered by a real insurance policy.
 - Young drivers could end up facing fines as well as risk incurring a criminal record.
 - The cost of bills for any damages or injuries if they cause an accident.

Commenting on the problem the Deputy Head of IFED, DI Dominic Parkin stated:

“Ghost broking is a nationwide problem which is now being met by a national law enforcement response. But making arrests and securing convictions is one piece of the puzzle - raising public awareness to prevent the fraudsters from duping young drivers is equally as important."

Here at iKube we recommend that young drivers do their research before buying a policy from any broker - online or otherwise. We work with a panel of insurers including Markerstudy, Equity Redstar, Sabre and Avive to help tailor a car insurance policy for young and learner drivers.


Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Wintery Weather Warning On Driving Dangers

Recent statistics show that over 6,200 reported road accidents occured as a result of ice and snow last winter alone.

As a result we want to remind young drivers of the dangers of driving during the winter months.

In-spite of the fact that snow flurries and severe icy conditions are yet to hit, now is the perfect time to start preparing your car for the wintery weather.

 - Have the right equipment - including battery jumper cables, first-aid kit, spare warm clothing, etc. For more information check out this article: top 10 things to carry in your car during winter.

 - Carry out a check of your car at the start of winter - checking for oil levels, antifreeze, air filter, etc.

 - Defrost your car thoroughly before setting off on an icy day to ensure your windows and mirrors are clear of any ice.

 - Ensure your headlights are in working order. Winter days get darker far earlier than any other time of the year and with thick snow or rain showers it's essential that your vehicle's lights are in good working order.

 - Check your car's battery - checking to ensure the top of your battery is clean, dry and it's terminals are tight and free of corrosion are all important.

 - Drive carefully in strong winds since they can be quite unsettling or even (in extreme cases) move the car around. On a road with other motorists and road users you need to be more aware or others - especially when around larger vehicles such as lorries and trucks.

 - Be cautious when driving in icy or snowy conditions - the best advice is not to risk driving if you don't need to, however, if you do find yourself in this situation you should drive at a reduced speed to help prevent skidding. You should also leave yourself plenty of stopping room in case you need to brake.

 - If you get stuck whilst driving in snow then we recommend clearing the snow from the car's wheels and put a sack or old rug in front of the driving wheels to give your tyres more grip. Once moving it's recommended that you try not to stop until you reach firm ground.


Friday, 15 November 2013

Young Drivers Urged To Look After Their Eyesight

A recent survey undertaken by revealed that young drivers between 18 and 24 were more likely to have issues driving due to bad eyesight when compared to older motorists.

The "Think About Your Eyes" campaign aims to identify poor eyesight on the road.

The report showed that whilst over 50% of motorists over the age of 55 required glasses or corrective lenses when driving compared to just a third of young drivers, around 10% of younger motorists believe that they should probably be wearing glasses when they drive.

Perhaps more worryingly 1 in 7 young drivers are of the opinion that they have put themselves before the safety of their passengers due to eyesight, compared to 1 in 35 motorists over the age of 55.

The report also showed:

  • 1 in 5 young drivers say they have been unable to see road signs when compared to 1 in 20 older motorists.
  • 1 in 7 young drivers struggle to read number plates
  • A third of young motorists have driven onto a roundabout and narrowly missed being hit because they failed to spot the oncoming vehicle.
  • 40% of young drivers admitted to a near-miss because a vehicle came out of nowhere.

Whilst these figures do suggest that young motorists need to consider their eyesight and wear glasses - where appropriate, they also suggest that young drivers are simply less aware of other road-users and need to be more vigilant whilst driving to avoid claims on their car insurance.

With the weather getting colder and the night’s drawing in earlier iKube would like to remind young drivers to stay safe on the road. If you need to wear glasses whilst driving we strongly recommend doing so as you could be putting yourself and others at risk by not doing so.


Thursday, 7 November 2013

Young Drivers Snapping #DrivingSelfies On The Road

Eating, drinking, reading maps, making calls, texting and applying makeup are just part of a growing list of silly things that young drivers do whilst on the road.

According to Fox17 taking a photograph with a mobile phone (aka "selfies") whilst driving is the latest craze to add to the list.

The website has reported that almost 15,000 drivers have uploaded driving selfies to Instagram using hashtags like #drivingselfie, #drivingselfies and #drivingtowork. There are even those who have ironically used #IhopeIdontcrash...

Motoring experts in the US have called for young drivers to see common sense and curb their enthusiasm for selfies whilst on the road. Jackie Gillan, the president of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety said:

“Taking a photo of yourself while you’re driving a 2,000-pound vehicle down the road at 50 or 60 miles per hour? That is putting your life in danger and putting the lives of those around you in danger.”

Governments, the police and road safety groups in the UK, US and in other areas of the World have been raising awareness of the dangers of distracted driving, with mobile phone usage being a primary concern. This includes texting, social media use and making calls whilst driving.

In the UK the Hampshire Constabulary in September this year launched Operation Tramline and detected 227 distracted driving offences in just 5 days! Commenting on this Seargent Paul Dimond, who headed up the operation said:

"Distracted driving is proven to be a significant factor in many of the collisions on our roads. The vast majority were holding phones in their lap and accessing applications or texting with their hands held low – this is incredibly dangerous both for the motorist and for other road users."

There are frequently stories in the press about motorists who crashed into other vehicles as a result of distracted driving, for example, the most recent was a lorry driver on the M25 who crashed into a queue of traffic as he was distracted whilst talking on the phone and checking his SatNav at the time - killing at least one other driver. Another truck driver in Arizona, USA crashed into a number of emergency vehicles, killing one police officer whilst distracted by semi-naked women on his smartphone.

Whilst taking a selfie whilst driving may seem like harmless fun at first it is still distracted driving and a moment's distraction could mean fatal consequences. Our advice – if you have to take a selfie in your car – make sure you’re not driving at the time…


Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Red Cross Issues Advice For Young Drivers At The Scene Of An Accident

The British Red Cross has recently released first-aid advice for young drivers, following a recent announcement by the Government that they are considering a number of measures to improve road safety, including the introduction of curfews and increasing the age they can get a licence to 18.

The Red Cross have suggested that whilst the proposals put forward by the Government could help to prevent accidents, young drivers are still advised to undertake first-aid training should a road accident occur.

The Red Cross have also released some sound advice for young drivers to follow if they find encounter an accident on the road, these include:

  1. If you come across an accident and are in a car, park-up somewhere safe and switch the engine off. Stay calm and assess the situation - looking out for dangers such as leaking fuel, broken glass and traffic.

  2. If more than one person is injured then it's advisable to check on the quiet one first as they may be unconscious and require immediate attention. It is also recommended that you do not move any casualties as you could exacerbate or cause further injuries.

  3. If an injured person is bleeding then it's recommended to put pressure on the wound with a clean cloth if available - i.e. a torn shirt, rag, towel, etc. Keep pressure on the wound until help arrives.

  4. Call 999 or ask someone else to do it.

All sound pieces of advice for any young driver in this kind of situation, however, there are a few more common sense tips that iKube have come up with, including:

  1. Make sure you've alerted others to the accident - by using the hazard lights and forward facing lights in your car. In addition it makes sense to place a warning triangle on the road if you have one.

  2. Whether you or someone else calls the emergency services you should make sure that you give them enough information about the accident, including:

  3.  - Your telephone number
     - The location of the accident - a map reference, landmarks or Sat-Nav co-ordinates will do
     - Describe what has happened - e.g. a van has rear-ended a car and caused the car to vear off-road

The most important message we at iKube can give you as a young driver is: Stay safe on the road and don't put yourself in dangerous situations if you can avoid them. Source:

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Telematics - How A Little Black Box Promotes Road Safety

Today I asked myself this question - "what is the real purpose behind car insurance?"

Whilst on the surface that might seem like a bit of a daft question to ask the introduction of black box telematics technology has practically changed its original meaning to something... even more meaningful.

Let me put this into perspective:

For many years the primary purpose of car insurance was to insure against loss due to a traffic accident or theft.

This is still the basic premise behind this, however, a telematics or "black box" car insurance policy not only offers the essential cover but it can also make you a safer driver.

By harnessing this kind of technology insurance providers such as iKube not only offers 17 - 25 year old full licensed drivers and learner drivers discounted cover but it also promotes safer driving.

By giving young drivers the toolkit to monitor their own driving through the use of an online dashboard and the use of TomTom's tracking software iKube are essentially saying to policyholders - "you have control over your premium".

By keeping an eye on driving habits whilst out on the road or by using these tools young drivers can improve their driving on a day-by-day basis.

I will leave you with this thought - no one ever stops learning from their driving. Every day we get out on the road we're learning new things - whether it's about how we drive or how other people drive.

By offering this technology - telematics insurance providers are making safe driving a priority and policyholders are reaping the rewards at renewal - as long as they consistently demonstrate good, safe driving.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Parent Education for Teaching Learner Drivers

I read an interesting article today that describes how parents of learner drivers in Port Macquarie, Australia have been invited to a free workshop to help them when taking to the road with a learner driver.

Parents in the UK and other parts of the World tend to get in the car with their son or daughter when they're learning to drive to supplement training when they're not off out with an instructor.

But let's face facts - getting into a car with a relatively inexperienced learner driver can probably be pretty daunting (and not just a little scary).

What this workshop aims to do is educate parents and help them to "plan and deliver driving sessions and allowed them to share experiences with other parents and supervisors", said a spokesperson for the NSW Centre For Road Safety in Australia.

They went on to say that they want to use the course to reinforce the important role that families can have in providing on-going support for young drivers from an early age.

Would parents benefit from a similar workshop here in the UK? More importantly - would they attend if it meant making their son or daughter a better, safer driver in the long-run?

Here at iKube we believe that anything that reinforces road safety and reduces the number of accidents on the road can only be a good thing – if done in the right way.

iKube’s black box device records on how the car is being driven and its location – which can be very helpful for parents who want to help their young driver improve how they drive.

We provide online feedback via our dashboard and TomTom’s own software – which we encourage both young driver policyholders and their parents to monitor as it delivers an excellent level of feedback.