Nation's 'safest driver' is content to be a 'nana'
When Rob Hekes best mates find out he's "New Zealand's safest driver" they're going to rib him. Mr Heke's Holden-driving mates already call him a "nana driver".
Mr Heke, a forensics expert from Hamilton, received a call from Tower Insurance saying that his SmartDriver app results for the previous 12 months made him New Zealand's best driver.
When he was younger, Mr Heke loved to impress his mates with the acceleration power of his beloved sports cars.
"Was I a good driver? Probably not," he says.
He did, however, heed the words of his driving coach father, who said passengers falling asleep was the sign of a good driver.
Mr Heke, who now drives a Volkswagen Touran, says his driving style changed when the first of three sons, Zion, was born.
"When babies are brand new you think they're breakable like an egg. In our first drive I was so slow turning corners and going around roundabouts."
When Tower started SmartDriver, Mr Heke was keen to try it to learn a bit more about his driving patterns.
More than 50,000 people have downloaded it the app, which collects basic driving information, such as trip duration, location, distance travelled, braking and acceleration.
After 150km the app builds an understanding of driving behaviour and risk. About half the people who complete 150km using the app have been able to claim a discount.
In the early weeks it showed that Mr Heke was accelerating too fast and braking too hard.
That, and the feedback the app gives about fuel savings, was enough to change the 36-year-old's habits.
More than a few app users who have not qualified for a discount have complained, thinking they were better drivers than they actually are.
However Mark Savage, general manager of customer proposition at Tower, says stastistically you're more likely to have an accident if you accelerate fast and brake hard.
Mr Heke's 8.8/10 score meant he received a 20 per cent discount on his vehicle insurance premium.