Wednesday, 15 December 2021 12:00

Holiday Driving Forecast: Safe Driving is the Gift that Keeps Giving

Holiday Driving Forecast: Safe Driving is the Gift that Keeps Giving

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Dec. 15, 2021 -- For many, this may be the most wonderful time of the year, but it is also one of the most dangerous times for those traveling on the road. With the Christmas holiday falling on a Saturday this year, Nationwide has reviewed years of claims data and has developed a holiday forecast for people planning to hit the roads to visit and celebrate with family and friends.

The data reveals that the most dangerous day to be on the road this holiday season will be Thursday, Dec. 23. Nationwide's claims data has shown a year-over-year trend that traffic accidents spike the week before Christmas.

"It's no secret that some motorists picked up bad driving habits during the pandemic. Combine that with the hustle and bustle of the holiday season and we could see a lot of Scrooges on America's roadways," said Beth Riczko, Nationwide's president of personal lines. "The good news is drivers in our telematics program are willing to change their driving behaviors."

Telematics technology is one way to help keep drivers safe year-round and save money through lower insurance premiums. The latest Agency Forward surveyi from Nationwide shows that drivers are becoming more open to using the latest in telematics technology in their vehicles—making telematics an "out of the box" gift idea for your family this holiday season.

The new survey highlighted three key themes on consumer views of telematics technology:

  • Consumers are becoming more open to using telematics
  • Consumers view collecting vehicle and driving information more acceptable than other common forms of data collection
  • Telematics can be a solution to safety and price concerns among consumers

"When I switched my family's policies over to SmartRide, my husband and I had a competition to see who was going to get the bigger discount for their safe driving," shared Riczko. "I love that it creates the interaction element with the customer and they're getting more control over their price. The technology is amazing and frankly, the discounts are an incentive for safe driving—everyone can benefit."

Consumers are becoming more open to telematics and vehicle/driving data collection

Nearly half of consumers are interested in participating in a telematics program; with 46% open to pay-per-mile and 45% interested in a program that rewards safe driving with discounts. However, there is a disconnect because only 3 in 10 consumers say they know about telematics offerings available to them.

Furthermore, in a world of big data, consumers view collecting vehicle and driving information as more acceptable than other common forms of data collection. While only 36% of consumers find it acceptable for streaming platforms to share a users' viewing habits to curate ads, only 28% think it's acceptable for a smart speaker to keep records of requests or conversations they've had with it, yet 45% of consumers are accepting of a connected device collecting information on vehicle performance and driving behavior.

"Consumers being more accepting of data collection on their driving is a huge turning point for the industry and presents an opportunity to deliver even more personalized pricing," said Riczko.

What telematics provides

The top concerns for drivers are the rising cost of insurance and safety on the roads. Serving as a solution for both issues, telematics products can give the customer more control of their price and can provide driving feedback for a motorist to make safer decisions behind the wheel. For those currently using telematics, 78% participate in the program to save money on auto insurance and 38% participate to become better drivers.

  • Up 15% from 2020 findings, 73% of consumers are concerned with the rising cost of car insurance
  • 66% are concerned about paying full price for insurance even though they drive safer than others
  • 63% are concerned about paying full price for insurance even though they don't drive as much

"Customers who are willing to leave their traditional policies behind are seeing the benefit of a more personalized premium provided through usage-based insurance options. There is a huge opportunity for insurers to provide coaching and feedback so that drivers can make safer choices," adds Riczko.

To learn more about usage-based insurance options available from Nationwide click here, or talk to your independent insurance agent.

About Nationwide

Nationwide, a Fortune 100 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 a full range of insurance and financial services, including auto, commercial, homeowners, farm, and life insurance; public and private sector retirement plans, annuities and mutual funds; excess & surplus, specialty and surety; pet, motorcycle and boat insurance. For more information, visit

Survey Methodology

Nationwide's ongoing Agency Forward research series works to track industry trends by surveying independent insurance agents, various business owners, and consumers. Nationwide commissioned Edelman Data & Intelligence to conduct a 20-minute quantitative online survey among a sample of 400 U.S. independent insurance agents and 1,000 consumers between June 22 – July 7, 2021, to gauge interests and barriers to utilizing automotive telematics technology. As a member in good standing with The Insights Association as well as ESOMAR Edelman Data and Intelligence conducts all research in accordance with local, national and international laws as well as in line with all Market Research Standards and Guidelines.

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