Spooky season is here! Nationwide breaks down the scariest driving trends
Scary movies and creepy costumes aren’t the only things spooking Americans this Halloween. The trend of high-speed drivers on the roadways is scaring drivers and passengers alike! If you’re spooked by the speed of drivers traveling on the roads around you, you’re not alone. Nationwide’s telematics data revealed an alarming 23% increase in trips with speeds of 75MPH+ since 2019. Even scarier, just between March and August 2021, trips with speeds exceeding 90MPH have increased 7.5%.
“The past year-and-a-half has been anything but normal, with many areas experiencing a shift in traffic patterns and roadways becoming less congested. Rush-hour became essentially non-existent in the spring of 2020 after stay-at-home orders took effect and many people transitioned to working from home—and still are,” said Kelly Hernandez, Nationwide’s associate vice president of telematics. “With the then wide-open roads, it seems many drivers picked up a bad habit of having a need for speed, which doesn’t seem to be slowing down.”
As Halloween decorations go up, distracted driving is another monster lurking in the shadows. This summer, nearly 12% of trips included distractions on a mobile phone, and 70% of drivers were distracted daily, based on Nationwide’s telematics data. The effects of distracted driving are frightening but the outcomes can be even scarier. Nine fatalities each day are attributed to distractions and this number can be underreported1.
“Although all age groups are distracted, our data shows the problem is much worse for younger drivers,” said Hernandez.
Nationwide is aiming to change behaviors with its SmartRide2 program by providing feedback on phone distraction while behind the wheel to increase drivers’ awareness of the frequency of this dangerous behavior and help them reduce it. After launching this new experience in SmartRide last fall, Nationwide has seen a 10% reduction in everyday hand-held distractions among enrolled drivers.
To learn more about Nationwide’s SmartRide program and the ways it can help you become a safer driver click here, or talk to your independent insurance agent.
1 Traffic Safety Facts, Research Note, Distracted Driving 2019: https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/813111
2 Availability varies; program criteria differ in California and North Carolina. Stated discounts are approximations. Discounts do not apply to all coverage elements; actual savings vary by state, coverage selections, rating factors, and policy changes. Enrollment discount applies during data collection; final discount is calculated on driving behavior and could be zero. The final discount applies at the next policy renewal and is subject to change based upon actuarial support at subsequent renewals or with changes in drivers or vehicles on the policy.