Over the past two years, numerous roadway safety organizations, including the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the National Safety Council, have noted an alarming increase in traffic fatalities in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic. A new analysis of Allstate collision data highlights a shift away from below-average collision rates during the summer months pre-pandemic to collision rates in the summer exceeding the monthly average by as much as 7.7% post-pandemic.
Although collision totals in 2020 and 2021 were lower than in previous years – driven down by the effect of the pandemic on total miles driven — there are reasons to expect the same will not hold true this summer. According to Allstate’s mobility data and analytics partner, Arity, total miles driven began exceeding pre-pandemic levels as early as April 2021 and as of April 2022, national mileage is out pacing 2021. With traffic fatalities already estimated to be up in the Spring compared to last year, all signs point to that (collision) trend worsening this summer.
Ahead of what expertsbelieve could be a banner year for summer travel, Allstate offers five ways drivers can stay safe on the roads this summer:
- Buckle up. Fastening your seatbelt is the first and easiest step you can take toward becoming a safer driver. Allstate was among the earliest advocates of national seatbelt laws in the 1960s, and our support of this simple, life-saving technology continues to this day.
- Don’t drive distracted. Keep your cellphone out of reach while driving. If you need to use it, pull over and park in a safe location. A telematics program such as Allstate’s Drivewise can also make you aware of riskier driving habits – including how often you touch your phone while driving. In fact, 65% of Drivewise customers reported changing their driving habits based on feedback they received from the program, according to an Allstate survey.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Drivers should be alert and pay attention to traffic at all times. Not only can defensive driving and other safe driving practices help you stay safe on the road, but those habits may also help you save on car insurance.
- Know when to take a break. If you’re feeling tired, you may want to think twice before getting behind the wheel or pull over and park in a safe location if you feel yourself getting drowsy. Sleepiness can affect your ability to drive safely. Passengers can help you remain focused on the road by navigating directions and pointing out potential hazards.
- Always be prepared. Every car should have general emergency supplies. Some of the basics can include: a spare tire or tire repair kit, jumper cables, a reflective triangle or flare, and a first aid kit. A roadside assistance plan, such as those offered by Allstate Roadside, can also help with services like changing a flat tire, jump starting a dead battery or towing a vehicle to a repair shop.
This summer and always, Allstate remains steadfastly committed to making U.S. roadways safer.