BY Partnered Content 3 MINUTE READ

South Africa has an alarmingly high road accident fatality rate. What’s more concerning is that Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) State of Road Safety reports show an increase in the number of road vehicle accident fatalities. Statistics demonstrate a 21% rise from 2019 to 2021 – impacting our economy with road accidents costing South Africa R176 billion in 2019 alone. Recent research shows that 84% of South Africa’s road fatalities are due to poor driving behaviour.

Lana Ross, Chief Operating Officer for Discovery Business Insurance says that having a telematics device installed in business vehicles, can help business owners to keep track of how their vehicles are being driven.

“Telematics technology helps business owners identify poor driving habits and take the necessary steps to facilitate and reward better driving behaviour,” Ross says.

She adds that a good example of a driver behaviour programme utilising telematics technology to measure and reward good driving behaviour, is Discovery Insure’s Vitality Drive for Business programme. This programme focuses on improving driving behaviour such as acceleration, braking, cornering, speed and location of the trip, distance, and cellphone usage.

Lana Ross, COO – for Discovery Business Insurance

Ross cautions that poor driving does not only result in the tragic loss of lives, it also costs businesses a vast amount of money.

“Bad driving habits like speeding, harsh acceleration, hard braking, harsh cornering and cellphone usage while driving, can add to the running costs of a business,” explains Ross.

She outlines that poor driving can negatively affect business costs in these six ways:

1.Fuel consumption is increased by 15% on average. For example, harsh acceleration uses more fuel than increasing a vehicle’s speed at a steady pace.

2. With more wear and tear on company vehicles, vehicle maintenance costs rise.

3. Careless driving shortens the life span of a vehicle, which inevitably costs money to replace.

4. More major and minor accidents happen as a result of reckless driving, which also increases vehicle insurance costs.

5. Damage to goods in transit is a major concern when accidents take place during product deliveries.

6. Accidents due to poor driving cause delays in service delivery, which can potentially damage a business’s reputation and create costly business down time.

“Discovery Insure is committed to creating a nation of great drivers, through our driver behaviour programme,” says Ross. “Vitality Drive for Business clients are given access to an online fleet portal, at no additional cost, enabling them to track vehicles in real time, view all trips and analyse and better manage the driving behaviour of their drivers to help them improve.”

The driver behaviour programme ensures that drivers are able to improve their driving by understanding how they drive, having the tools to help them enhance their driving skills and, by receiving weekly Active Rewards for driving well, they are directly incentivised to continue on their improvement journey. In addition, business owners can save up to 30% on their monthly vehicle premiums if their vehicles are driven well, which in turn reduces the number of accidents on our roads.

“Underpinned by Discovery’s shared-value model, Vitality Drive for Business creates a virtuous cycle of value creation. Incentives create better drivers. Better drivers enable savings on insurance claims for the insurer, and on premiums for the client. More savings enable even better incentives, which further improve driving behaviour and bring about the greatest outcome of all: safer roads for everyone.” concludes Lana.

Be the change.

In shouldering the responsibility of implementing a driver behaviour programme that equips their drivers with the right tools to take better care when behind the wheel, every business owner can play a part in saving lives on South Africa’s roads.