12:49 PM

Data Shows Summer Auto Safety Risks Eclipse the Rest of the Year

Columbus, OH - As the summer driving season rolls into August, Nationwide is helping its members become safer on the roadways through the comprehensive measurement and analysis of critical data about driving habits.

According to multiple sources, including the Insurance Information Institute (III) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), summer is one of the deadliest and most dangerous periods on America’s roadways.

“Statistics show that serious and often fatal crashes occur during the summer months,” said Michael Barry, spokesman for the Insurance Information Institute. “Telematics data helps drivers evaluate their habits so they can be more careful and attentive drivers in the summer and throughout the entire year.”

National safety statistics show:

  • In 2015, July, August and September were respectively the third-highest, highest and fourth-highest months in terms of motor-vehicle deaths, according to the IIHS.
  • 3,319 people died in August of 2015, the most of any month that year.
  • Nationwide members reported more accidents in August 2016 than any other month last year (56,929).
  • A recent National Safety Council study revealed that more fatal accidents occurred during the 2014 Labor Day weekend than any other holiday weekend that year except for Thanksgiving.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), job growth and low fuel prices are two factors that lead to increased driving, including more leisure driving and driving by young people. More driving can contribute to higher fatality rates. In 2015, vehicle miles traveled increased 3.5 percent over 2014, the largest increase in nearly 25 years, according to NHTSA.

To encourage safe driving and cut down on the number of accidents in the summer and the rest of the year, Nationwide collects and analyzes data from its SmartRide® safe-driving program. The company uses data points such as hard braking, fast acceleration and idle time to identify potential dangerous situations so SmartRide members can make adjustments to their driving or choose safer commutes.

Aggregated data of those data points collected through Nationwide’s SmartRide program from drivers across 23 states show hard braking, suddenly speeding up and time spent idling are all contributing factors in auto accidents.

“We collect critical pieces of data about driving habits that have been identified as some of the leading contributors to auto accidents. When drivers are armed with this information, they can make necessary adjustments to their driving behaviors that will help them be safer drivers,” said Larry Thursby, Nationwide vice president who helps build and manage the insurer’s telematics program. “Nationwide continues to advance as a leader in digital innovation and is committed to building capabilities in digital technology.”

Through its telematics program and other initiatives, Nationwide continues to make industry-leading advancements in digital technology. SmartRide enrollees have access to a robust web portal and app that provide near real-time feedback on driving data following the completion of a trip. Participants also receive emails from the program regarding their driving behaviors, and SmartRide device-enabled members can now access their driving information through Amazon Alexa-enabled devices.

“Nationwide focuses on delivering next-generation experiences for its members by exploring leading-edge opportunities from analytics and automation technology that can be applied to insurance and financial services platforms,” Thursby said.

About Nationwide

Nationwide, a Fortune 100 company based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the United States. Nationwide is rated A+ by both A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s. An industry leader in driving customer-focused innovation, Nationwide provides a full range of insurance and financial services products including auto, business, homeowners, farm and life insurance; public and private sector retirement plans, annuities and mutual funds; excess & surplus, specialty and surety; pet, motorcycle and boat insurance. For more information, visit www.nationwide.com. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.