The European Union is keen to have technology called e-Call installed automatically in all cars from November 2017, a move it says will help to save more than 2,500 lives each year.
The devices would work by sending an instant message to emergency services in the event of an accident. It is hoped this would lead to faster response times and a lower fatality rate.
However, despite this improved safety element, support for the move is far from widespread. Many people see the black boxes as an intrusion of privacy as it would allow bodies to constantly track a driver’s movements as well as monitor their speeds and handling.
When asked about the technology in a recent survey, more than seven in ten motorists stated that they are against having a tracker fitted to their vehicle and that number seems unlikely to fall any time soon.
That said, it is estimated that more than 300,000 cars currently on the UK’s roads are fitted with telematics, and it’s easy to see why. On top of the added safety features, they are beneficial to younger and inexperienced drivers who are keen to keep their insurance premiums in check by exhibiting safe driving.
Pros of having a black box fitted:
• Enhanced safety
• Cheaper insurance premiums for good drivers
• Some insurers offer monthly premiums
• Some insurers reward good driving with cashback and vouchers
• Black boxes can be tracked by GPS, making vehicles less appealing to thieves
• Data recorded can help with claims
Cons of having a black box fitted:
• Potentially high costs for those do a lot of miles each year
• Installation can cost money
• Premium increases for poor driving
• Potential restrictions including night curfews and distances each day
• Lack of privacy
If you looking for a new insurance policy, it is important to consider the above points before deciding whether black box cover is right for you. While they may offer a lower initial premium, if you are unsure about what your annual mileage is likely to be then you would be better off with standard insurance.
In contrast, if you are positive that you are a safe driver and do not expect to make too many long journeys then having a black box installed may just be your ticket to cost effective cover.