We all dread that time of the year when our car insurance is up for renewal, don’t we. Trawling round looking for the lesser of two hundred evils, with only a dent in your bank balance and a cuddly zoo animal to show for your troubles. As a motorist, I feel persecuted in a number of ways, but car insurance comes high up on the list.
I have never been able to think of a way of writing about road car insurance on my motoring blog without being negative. And so I never have. That’s why, when an online media agency called Steak got in touch to let me know about a new game they’ve created for insurance company 1st Central, I wanted to share it with you.
Why? Because they’ve done some research about driving habits in the UK that makes for pretty grim reading. And rather than rub their hands together (in the knowledge that it’s largely bad driving habits that cause higher insurance premiums), they’ve decided to devise a fun way to tell us about them, in the hope that we’ll all shape up a bit.
If at this point you’re burying your head in the sands of righteousness and holding yourself up as a pillar of the road community, I urge you to check out the results of 1st Central’s research. If you can honestly say that not one of the statistics relates to you in any way, shape or form, you have my personal approval to leave your head where it is. If not – read on…
Even where the insurance industry has tried to educate us in the things we need to do to keep ourselves safe – and our premiums down – this has been by way of preaching. So guess what – it hasn’t worked. And that’s where this ‘Road Rule-ette’ game comes in. The messages are all there, but they’re delivered in a simple, fun, and at times eye-opening way.
The statistics are delivered in a series of ‘true or false’ trivia questions, across a range of road scenarios which somehow remind me of doing Pass Plus. And just like when I was doing Pass Plus, my minor indiscretion on the game came during the country road driving scenario. But this time, rather than being grumbled at by my instructor for blipping the throttle on down-shifts (he’d clearly never heard of heal-and-toe), my excuse is that I got distracted taking a screenshot and ran out of time to answer one of the questions.
Seriously though, even if you’re cynical about these sorts of things, as I often am – give it a go. There are things that will help you (busted myths about white lines on the road after speed cameras for instance), things you should know (is it legal to drink water behind the wheel?), and things that will I’m sure surprise you. For example, have you ever sounded your horn while stationary? Ouch!
Will the game cause a serious upturn in behaviour among those who consistently flout the laws? Probably not. But will it make the rest of us – most of whom have been guilty at some point of a minor motoring offence or two – think twice before checking our phones at the traffic lights or doing 10% over the speed limit without a care in the world?
You know, it just might. And if playing a two minute game in your lunch hour saves you a few quid, and more importantly a few points on your licence, then why not?
The only criticism I do have, is that the car appears to be a gruesome blend of Mk5 Golf and Fiat Punto. And for that reason, I simply cannot relate. Please 1st Central, give us a garage of exotic motors to choose from next time…