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Road deaths fall as black boxes deter boy racers

Tracker: Technology records speed

THE number of young drivers being killed or seriously injured in crashes has dropped by 35 per cent amid increasing use of speed-tracking black boxes by insurance companies.

There were 18,529 victims aged 17 to 19 in 2011 compared with 11,984 last year, an analysis of Department for Transport figures shows.

Deaths and serious injuries were down across all age groups but by an average of only 16 per cent.

The figures were hailed yesterday as ‘compelling evidence’ that the boxes encourage young drivers to shun ‘boy-racer’ behaviour or face their insurance premiums rocketing or being cancelled.

LexisNexis Risk Solutions, which offers the ‘telematics’ technology, said: ‘The one major difference between young drivers and their older counterparts is telematics insurance, with four in five young drivers estimated to have a telematics policy today.’ Company director Graham Gordon added: ‘Young drivers remain the riskiest on our roads but the insurance sector deserves a great deal of credit for developing a product that encourages safer driving.’

Mr Gordon said the boxes could be used more widely as research shows most drivers are happy to be tracked.

Tim Marlow, head of autonomous and connected vehicle research at insurer Ageas, said: ‘Future developments offer the potential to reduce casualties amongst other age groups.’