Young driver insurance can sometimes be very expensive; however, by obtaining insurethebox telematics cover and driving safely, their car insurance quotes could reduce in price at renewal.

Research, published recently, and carried out jointly between the IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists) and TRL (Transport Research Laboratory), showed drivers who accessed Facebook or other social networking media while driving, displayed significantly reduced reaction times comparable with drink driving.

According to the report, 24% of Young motorists, between the ages of 17 and 24, are using their smartphones for emailing and social networking whilst behind the wheel, distracting them from the road and potentially being very dangerous.

For example, taking cannabis slows reaction times by 21% and having a blood- alcohol level above the legal limit but less than 100mg per 100ml, slows reaction times between six and 15%.

However, using a smartphone for social networking while behind the wheel impairs reaction times by 37.6%

Nick Reed, TRL senior researcher, said a smartphone should never be used when driving.

He said, “Our research clearly demonstrates that driver behaviour was significantly and dramatically impaired when a smartphone was being used for social networking.

“Even when hazards were detected, the driver’s ability to respond was slowed. The combination of observed impairments to driving will cause a substantial increase in the risk of a collision that may affect not only the driver but also their passengers and other road users.”

Although insurers may charge higher prices to those between the ages of 17 and 24, motorists looking for young driver insurance should consider fitting a telematics box to their vehicle. The cost of their premiums may decrease and their driving could improve as a result.

In related news, an 18-year-old female driver was killed in Idaho, in the US, recently after posting every 90 seconds on Facebook and driving at 80mph along a state highway. According to the Huffington Post, her last posting read, “I can’t discuss this now. Driving and facebooking is not safe! Haha.”