Wheels, Skills and Thrills

  • Published: University of the West of England, 2012
  • Authors: M. Baugh, Prof. A. Tapp, A. Pressley, and Dr P White
  • Date Added: 08 Feb 2013
  • Last Update: 16 May 2014
  • Format: pdf


This study focussed on young men from areas of social deprivation to try and reduce their levels of involvement in road traffic RTIs. A headline focus was social marketing techniques, but a telematics solution was also used: In Vehicle Data Recorders (IVDR) gathered data and gave immediate feedback (via dashboard LEDs) on ‘aggressive’ driving manoeuvres.


The main intervention was bespoke advanced driving courses provided by the IAM. Social marketing techniques and messages were employed to bond the group and provide continuity – free monthly karting sessions were available to participants.

IVDRs were used mainly as a before-during-after objective measure (alongside driving assessments). As well as red, amber, green dashboard LEDs, these devices used accelerometers and GPS to record ‘driver events’ (thresholds pre-determined by the IAM). The number of red and amber events was used as an indicator of poor driving behaviour.

Key Findings:

The below relate specifically to the telematics / IVDR related findings from the trial.

  • Data from the IVDRs showed a sharp and sustained decline in driving events. The decline actually preceded the start of coaching and suggests that engagement in the trial and installation of the IVDR may have had an effect in itself.

  • Improvement in driving behaviour indicated by IVDR data was corroborated by driving assessments.

  • The IVDRs’ GPS capability could be used as a tracking device – anecdotally leading to the swift return of one participant’s car which was stolen during the trial duration.


IVDR, feedback, coaching


IVDR was only one component of a complete programme of interventions. Despite the early improvement shown in driving behaviour post-IVDR installation it is not possible to isolate the effects of IVDR only. Nevertheless, this trial showed the technology’s potential as a monitoring tool and feedback device to a potentially challenging demographic.