Nationwide Insurance analyzed claims data from 2012 and found that Friday may be the most risky day to drive to work, with its members having the highest average number of claims per day at 4,664. Wednesday came in second with an average of 4,197 claims, followed closely by Thursday, Monday and Tuesday.
“Regardless of when or where we drive, we all play a part in making our roads safer for each other,” said Bill Windsor, Associate Vice President of Safety at Nationwide Insurance. “Focus on the task at hand – driving – and resist the temptation of your cell phone by turning it off or avoiding reading your text messages and emails.”
According to the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS), being rear-ended and rear-ending another vehicle are two of the most frequent types of crashes for both fleet drivers and the general population.
To avoid common collisions like rear-ending another car, NETS suggested focusing on:
• Following distance is key. Always leave at least 3–4 seconds of distance between your vehicle and the one in front. If the roads are wet or slippery, you should double your following distance.
• Scan ahead. Look down the road ahead of you for a distance of 8–10 seconds. In the city, that’s about one block and on the highway, it’s about 1/3 of a mile, 4 city blocks, or 1/2 of a kilometer.
• Keep your eyes moving. The drivers’ seat is a 360-degree environment, with potential hazards in front, behind, and on all sides. Many fleet safety programs recommend a “full mirror sweep” every 5–6 seconds.
• Watch your speed. The faster you are driving, the less time you have to react to sudden moves by other drivers and the less time other drivers have to react to you.
• Be predictable. Avoid quick acceleration or sudden turns. Controlled, gradual maneuvers give other drivers more time to adjust.
• Give your brakes a break. If you’re scanning ahead properly, you should only need to use 30 percent of full braking power for non-emergency braking situations. If you find yourself braking hard, you need to increase your following distance.
• Look for mixed signals. Just as “body language” may contradict what a person is saying, when the “body” is that of a vehicle, it can also provide valuable information about a driver’s true intentions.
• Send the right signal. Experts recommend that you activate your turn signal for 3–4 seconds before changing lanes or making a turn.
October 1-5, 2012 is Drive Safely Work Week, a NETS national effort to raise awareness that can significantly reduce the number of traffic crashes that impact employees, policyholders, families and communities. Nationwide Insurance is a Board Member company.
For additional information on how you can stay protected on the road, visit Nationwide’s website for driving safety tips.
Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the U.S. and is rated A+ by both A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s. The company provides customers a full range of insurance and financial services, including auto insurance, motorcycle, boat, homeowners, pet, life insurance, farm, commercial insurance, annuities, mortgages, mutual funds, pensions, long-term savings plans and specialty health services. For more information, visit www.nationwide.com.