Background Road injury is the leading cause of death for young people, with human error a contributing factor in many crash events. This research is the first experimental study to examine the extent to which direct feedback and incentive-based insurance modifies a driver's behaviour. The study applies in-vehicle telematics and will link the information obtained from the technology directly to personalised safety messaging and personal injury and property damage insurance premiums. Methods The study has two stages. The first stage involves laboratory experiments using a state-of-the-art driving simulator. These experiments will test the effects of various monetary incentives on unsafe driving behaviours. The second stage builds on these experiments and involves a randomised control trial to test the effects of both direct feedback (safety messaging) and monetary incentives on driving behaviour. Discussion Assuming a positive finding associated with the monetary incentive-based approach, the study will dramatically influence the personal injury and property damage insurance industry. In addition, the findings will also illustrate the role that in-vehicle telematics can play in providing direct feedback to young/novice drivers in relation to their driving behaviours which has the potential to transform road safety.