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Thanksgiving Week Wrecks Likely to Spike Up to 34%

Nearly 42 million Americans expected to travel as gas prices plunge.

by on Nov.24, 2015

Crashes tend to spike during the holiday.

Between the holiday feasting and the Black Friday sales, Americans will be spending a lot of time on the road in the coming week, and whether it’s a little much turkey or a lack of sleep making them drowsy and distracted, highway crashes have a tendency to spike sharply around Thanksgiving.

The situation has apparently gotten worse since stores have extended their hours to draw in bigger crowds for the annual, pre-Christmas shopping extravaganza, according to new data from Progressive Insurance.

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This week could see even higher crash numbers as cheap fuel encourages more motorists to drive for the holiday. According to a forecast by AAA, nearly 50 million Americans will drive more than 50 miles this week.


Progressive Expands Spy-as-You-Go Car Insurance

Claims tracking system much more accurate at predicting driver behavior.

by on Jul.10, 2012

Big Sister is watching. Flo and the Progressive Snapshot data tracker.

How much is it worth to let your insurance company keep a Big Brother-like eye on your driving?  It’s apparently worth quite a bit to insurers like Progressive.

The industry giant says it will expand its auto insurance tracking program – even letting non-customers check it out – following studies that show the technology behind its “Snapshot” usage-based insurance is more than twice as accurate at discerning good drivers from bad – read: risky – ones compared to traditional methods.

A growing number of insurers have come up with methods of tracking driving behavior and then using it to set a customer’s rates.  Progressive claims that 70% of its Snapshot customers have seen a drop in their rates compared to what it was charging before – a discount of about $150 a year, on average.  That suggests the industry has been over-estimating the risks presented by the typical motorist, according to Progressive officials.

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“For most, the rates they’re paying are higher than the risk they actually present –- and in many cases, much higher,” said Progressive CEO Glenn Renwick.


Are You Ready To Pay By The Mile?

Insurers aren’t the only ones who want to track your mileage.

by on Dec.23, 2010

Would you be willing to pay for your insurance and even road taxes on a per-mile basis?

If anything will help sell Americans on the wave of new electric vehicles just coming to market it’s the idea of skipping the gas pumps.  Makers like Nissan – which is just rolling its new Leaf battery car into showrooms – are quick to point out that you’ll pay barely 2 cents a mile for the electricity needed to charge up, compared to a dime or more to propel a comparable gas-powered vehicle.

But one reason you’ll save money is that you’re not paying the nearly 50 cents a gallon in federal and state gasoline excise taxes which, for the average vehicle, can add up to almost $500 a year in taxes.  For cash-strapped governments that’s hard to ignore, and the State of Oregon has already established a committee to find ways to make up that money.

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If your electric vehicle doesn’t pay its taxes at the pump you may eventually have to cough up cash some other way, perhaps, Oregon regulators are considering, by using a per-mile fee that could add another penny or two per mile.

But regulators aren’t the only ones considering that option.  It’s an idea the insurance industry loves, as it gives them a chance to track not just how much you drive but, potentially where and how you drive.