Summer Car Travel Heats Up—Watch Out with Tech

During these unprecedented times, more Americans are reaching for the car keys as summer travel heats up. Cedar Electronics, home of leading automotive and consumer electronics brands Cobra and ESCORT, released the results of a national survey to track Americans’ plans to hit the roads and uncover new concerns behind the wheel.

In recent weeks, 77% of respondents report noticing more drivers on the roads with them, particularly in the South and the Midwest. Nearly a third (32%) have noticed an increase in speeding. Notably, 1 in 3 drivers are also more concerned about their safety on the roads than they were before COVID, especially younger drivers, with 46% of Gen Z drivers expressing concern

“Our recent survey found that the majority of Americans, whether hailing from the city or the suburbs, are seeing more drivers on the road in recent weeks as areas of the country reopen and summer plans adjust to new developments,” said Gail Babitt, CEO of Cedar Electronics. “Before hitting the roads, we encourage all drivers to consider the latest driver awareness technology available to help inform decisions and stay safe behind the wheel, whether it’s from a modern driver alert system that leverages sensor-based and crowdsourced information on road conditions, speed enforcement and police activity or from a smart dash camera that ensures you’re prepared for the unexpected.”

Despite growing concern, Gen Z is most ready to get behind the wheel, with 42% planning to travel more by car in the next three months – a full 10% more than the average American. Those surveyed are turning to car travel more for the following reasons:

Reason to travel by car

Respondents

Allows me to be in control of my own schedule and pace

55%

It’s more convenient

50%

Allows for social distancing

42%

Of those planning to take road trips this summer, the majority of Gen Z and Millennial drivers said they are opting to drive over other modes of transportation.

Drivers Share Safety Concerns
Of the top concerns behind the wheel, many say it’s other drivers being distracted (48%), followed by reckless driving/road rage (40%), unexpected incidents (29%) and traffic & congestion (26%).

However, despite this uneasiness, nearly half of Americans (49%) don’t use any car tech to help them stay informed while driving. And yet, the same number (48%) agree that a crowdsourced road awareness app would be helpful for safer driving.

“The Cedar road awareness apps experienced a significant 218% increase in driver alerts from April to June 2020 and a 69% year-over-year increase – a clear sign that more drivers are taking to the roads and staying informed by reporting activity from road hazards to speed traps,” said Babitt. “We’ve also seen the number of alerts for New York City drivers nearly double from pre-COVID to today.”

Cedar Provides Tips & Tools to Help Increase Driver Awareness
To encourage smarter, safer driving as more Americans get behind the wheel, Babitt shares the following tips from Cedar Electronics:

  • Use a dash cam. Record all interactions with your vehicle and be prepared for the unexpected with crystal-clear video evidence of any incidents. Devices in the new Cobra Smart Cam Series, available at retail this August, offer sharp video capture that’s easily shareable, along with quick, reliable connectivity capabilities to connected cars and mobile hotspots that enable automatic emergency Mayday alerts, remote surveillance and notifications. Now available at a variety of price points, today’s dash cams help drivers keep themselves and their vehicles safe wherever, whenever.
  • Install sensor-based driver alert solutions. Combine machine-generated alerts with crowdsourced alerts for information you can trust to help you drive safer. The survey found that most drivers (60%) would be interested in receiving emergency notifications about road events and conditions while driving. Used alongside navigation apps like Waze, today’s connected driver alert systems like the ESCORT MAX 3 can verify and validate road alerts for the ultimate peace of mind.
  • Turn to a crowdsourced road awareness app. The free Cedar road awareness apps provide access to over 100 million vehicle-to-vehicle alerts annually from speed traps to red light cameras to help drivers stay informed on the roads. Survey respondents consider information about traffic to be most helpful, followed by accidents and road hazards. In addition, Gen Zers are 3X more likely than Baby Boomers to consider notifications about police activity helpful.

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