The Most Dangerous Form of Driving

The Most Dangerous Form of Driving

We’ve all seen our fair share of dangerous drivers on the road – people who believe that they are auditioning for the Jeff Gordon biopic with their hard accelerating and braking, as well as their aggressive cornering.

Yet, it turns out that all those forms of dangerous driving are statistically insignificant when it comes to car crashes. Researchers from the University of Waterloo recently processed the telematics data of over 28 million trips and found that there is one form of dangerous driving that stands above all the others when it comes to causing crashes.


So, how was this determined? Telematics isn’t exactly mainstream but it is undeniably valuable. In short, telematics is a method of monitoring the behavior of a vehicle. The GPS system of a car is combined with on-board diagnostics to essentially record where a car is and how fast it is going.

This data also allows experts to quantify different dangerous driving aspects such as hard cornering and aggressive accelerating and braking. With all this data recorded, it turns out speed is the main culprit in accidents.

Telematics is often used by insurance companies when assessing the risk of a driver – and this study could significantly affect future underwriting guidelines. Whilst insurance companies already look at violations such as speeding tickets, this new study quantifies what many have believed for a long time; speeding is exceptionally dangerous.

Dr. Allaa (Ella) Hilal touches on this by stating “some of the results are no surprise, but prior to this we had a whole industry based on intuition.” According to Dr. Hilal, this intuition has now been turned into reliable data which will allow for better decision-making going forward.

There has been a shift in the insurance industry in recent history in regards to telematics data. Previously, risk was judged with a heavy emphasis on age, location, or gender – all things that can cause biased, unreliable results.

It is the hope of many within the industry that drivers will be more mindful of their driving habits now that they know this information. If the riskiness of driving decreases, there is a strong chance that premiums will follow suit. Dr. Hilal concluded “we are super-pumped about its (the study’s) potential.”

However, there are still certain issues to iron out. Telematics cannot differentiate between who drives a vehicle. If the person who owns the vehicle is a safe driver and they lend their vehicle to a friend that drives dangerously, the recorded data will not account for this difference.

Moreover, there is the added complication of distracted driving. Whereas telematics may suggest that forms of dangerous driving other than speeding are statistically irrelevant when determining crashes, it does not take into account the heightened risk brought by distracted driving.

If you are cornering hard or accelerating aggressively whilst using your phone, that drastically increases the likelihood of a crash. Distracted driving simply cannot be ignored – especially considering that insurance industry experts believe it to be their biggest concerns regarding auto-crashes.

Whilst the technology nor the study may be perfect, they are still landmark achievements that will undoubtedly shape the future of risk-assessment. Personal judgement and human error can be taken out of the equation altogether once numbers become solely responsible for figuring out which behaviors are the most dangerous.

If you want to learn more about your car insurance, contact one of our licensed brokers today at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or simply call at 905-696-9090

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