Introducing the T-plate

A new study has revealed that over half of young drivers feel pressured on the roads.

Over nine years ago Co-op Insurance pioneered telematics.

Now, we want to raise awareness of the issues young drivers are facing into based on insight from our own young drivers plus thousands of other drivers across the UK.

Young driver sweating and feeling under pressure at the wheel

Click here to hear more from one of Co-op’s young drivers, James, about his experiences

Brits think they're good neighbours

Getting behind the wheel is a rite of passage for many young people, with over one million 17-25-year olds taking their driving tests annually.

37%

Of these young drivers, two fifths (37%) will take on a telematics-based insurance product, known as a black box.

Man and woman in a blue car

The reality

As novice drivers gear up to their first driving experience after passing their test many may be unaware of the harsh realities of life on the road as a new driver.

The sad reality is that over half of these young drivers will feel pressured on the roads by other motorists and around a quarter will physically feel unsafe when they drive.

Young Driver

Young driver experiences

80%

have experienced another vehicle driving too close to the rear of their car

72%

have experienced another driver overtaking them when it wasn’t safe to do so

53%

have felt under pressure to drive faster

44%

have experienced a driver sounding their horn when they weren’t at fault

43%

have experienced aggressive hand gestures made by another driver

28%

have been shouted at by another driver

21%

have felt pressure to pull out at a junction

20%

have experienced other drivers flashing their lights aggressively

James Doyle holding the T-plate

After months of learning I was so happy to finally be able to drive by myself. What I wasn't prepared for was the pressure I would feel from other drivers wanting me to go faster. At times I've even had to pull over to regain my confidence. I just wish that other drivers understood how their driving makes me feel.

James Doyle | 19 | Cornwall

Luke Batterham holding the T-plate

I’ve often had other drivers try to squeeze past me unsafely or overtake me on narrow roads, just because I’m going at the right speed. I think the T-plate will help other road users understand why I’m sticking to the speed limit; they should be doing the same too.

Luke Batterham | 18 | Norfolk

Nathan Parkes Evans holding the T-plate

I wish other drivers would appreciate and respect that I’m driving in a safe way. A lot of people see me behind the wheel and wrongly think that I’m a ‘boy racer’, but I think that’s a bad misconception a lot of drivers have. I’ve had other drivers right up behind me overtaking me on really busy roads and even sounding their horn when I don’t drive faster. The T-plate would help stop a lot of this and make me feel a lot more confident.

Nathan Parkes | 21 | South Yorkshire

Callum Smith holding the T-plate

The cost of my insurance has come down quite a lot since having the black box installed over a year ago. This saving was one of my main motivations for driving with telematics. The only issue I’ve had with the black box is that I am often made to feel like I’m in the wrong for sticking to the right speed by other drivers. It’s really annoying and, in the moment, it can make me quite angry. If they knew I had a black box, I think they would ease up a bit and consider the fact that I’m driving slower than them because I’m following the speed limit.

Callum Smith | 21 | Aberdeenshire

Molly Doyle holding the T-plate

I’ve been driving for nearly 18 months now and I still get other drivers getting too close behind me. The worst is when I drive on the motorway. It makes me feel quite stressed, it can be so dangerous. Even if I didn’t have my black box I would still make sure I never speed or put pressure on anyone else as I know how it can negatively affect people. I wish more experienced drivers would also think like this.

Molly Doyle | 23 | Greater Manchester

State of the nation’s motorists

Highlighting the extent of the challenges facing young drivers, over a third (35%) of drivers aged 26 and over say they are not mindful of other motorists on the roads.

Man beeping car horn

86%

often get frustrated by other road users...

48%

say they sound their horns at others when angry, despite this being against the law.

Sun Shine
Shopping

55%

of drivers aged 26 and over say they've driven too closely to a vehicle in front of them, rising to almost three quarters (73%) for drivers aged 26-35.

Of motorists aged 26 and over...

Motorist flashing lights

37%

have flashed their lights in frustration at another driver.

Motorist Swearing

26%

have sworn at another motorist

Motorist making a rude hand gesture

24%

have signalled rude hand gestures.

When young drivers were asked what might help them feel more comfortable on the roads...

Look out for each other

69%

Over two thirds (69%) agreed that it would help if other drivers were aware of their black box as they might drive differently around them.

Introducing the T-plate

To help educate and encourage all motorists to drive safely and considerately and to help protect all road users and local communities, Co-op is introducing the T-plate.

The T-plate is a plate that drivers can place on the back of their car to indicate to other drivers they have a black box and are required to drive safely and to the speed limit.

Socialising

39%

of Co-op’s young drivers said they would use a T-plate to show other drivers that they have a black box and are required to drive in a certain way.

60%

of Co-op’s young drivers said the T-plate would make them feel less pressured, nearly half (47%) believe it would change the way other motorists drive around them and just under a fifth (18%) said it would make them feel more confident when driving.

How the T-plate works

The T-plate is magnetic, so all young drivers need to do is place it on their vehicle by following the below guidance.

T-plates should be:

  • Made visible by placing on the rear of the car in a similar horizontal location to the brake lights – which is often the most visible area that following vehicles can see
  • Placed at a highly visible location at the front of the vehicle such as mounted onto the vehicle bonnet

 It is not advised to display T-plates on:

  • The front and rear windscreen as this decreases visibility for the driver and supervising passenger
  • Low bumpers as this may be difficult for other road users to see
  • The front grill of a vehicle as this may reduce air-flow into the engine
T-plate on back of car
Paul Evans holding the T-plate

A word from Paul Evans

"As the first insurer to launch black box insurance nearly 10 years ago we understand the issues young drivers are facing into from more mature drivers. Many experienced drivers don’t know that young drivers a feeling pressured and anxious and that their actions don’t always help.

We’ve designed the T-plate to look similar to the well know L and P plates. These plates are a signal to other motorists that the person driving the car in front of them has to drive in a certain way, be that because they are learning or have recently passed their test."

Paul Evans — Head of Motor Insurance at Co-op

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