The Complete Guide to Adapting Your Vehicle

Whether you have a disabled family member or you yourself are living with a disability, you know that disabilities come with their own set of challenges. However, being disabled doesn’t automatically mean that you need to give up your freedom and hand over your car keys. Now more than ever, there are technologies available to adapt vehicles to meet your specific needs. These new technologies will continue to broaden opportunities for people with disabilities to drive safely and comfortably. Your vehicle should act as a workhorse in your life, and the good news is that adapting your vehicle to suit your disability is now simpler than ever.

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Don’t know where to start? Here at Metromile, we believe that all of our customers should feel empowered to take to the open road with confidence. That’s why we’re here to answer questions you didn’t even know you had about adapting your vehicle to fit your needs. Here’s a breakdown of what types of tools, technology, etc., that you’ll need to adapt your vehicle. Let’s get into it!

Evaluate Your Needs

The first step in this process is evaluating what your needs are. A driver rehabilitation specialist will perform a comprehensive evaluation and will determine the adaptive equipment that best fits your needs. See how to get in touch with a specialist here!

Here’s what you can expect the specialist to evaluate:

  • Vision
  • Coordination and reaction time
  • Muscle strength, flexibility, and range of motion
  • Judgement and decision-making abilities

The specialist will also assess your ability to drive with the adaptive equipment and how the equipment will wear on your body over time. Once finished with the evaluation, the specialist will provide a comprehensive report containing driving requirements/restrictions, as well as specific recommendations for future adaptive equipment.

Finding the Right Vehicle

Now comes the fun part – car shopping! Finding the right vehicle to meet your needs doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Keep the following in mind when you’re car shopping and you’ll be good as gold.

Here are the questions to ask when shopping for a vehicle:

  • Does the vehicle have the cargo capacity to accommodate and carry the equipment you require?
  • Does the vehicle have the space and capacity to accommodate your family members or other passengers when it is loaded/modified with the equipment you require?
  • Will there be adequate parking space at home and work to fit the vehicle? How about when you’re loading/unloading a wheelchair? What if you use a walker?
  • Are there any additional options that are necessary for the vehicle to be safely operated?

There are also some features that you can look for in a potential vehicle, such as:

  • High or extra-wide doors
  • Large interior door handles
  • Adjustable foot pedals
  • Large/oversized knobs with clearly marked labels
  • Support handles to assist with entering and exiting the vehicle (this is also a handy tool that fits in most car door jambs!)
  • Seat adjusters that can move in all directions
    • Specifically, a seat adjuster that can raise the seat so the driver’s line of sight is 3 inches above the adjusted steering wheel
  • Dashboard-mounted ignition (rather than steering column-mounted ignition)

Remember that your mobility equipment dealer and your driver rehabilitation specialist are qualified to ensure the vehicle you select can be modified to meet your adaptive equipment needs.

Safety Tips

As a rule of thumb: both new and advanced drivers will need safety training on how to use the new adaptive equipment. Literature and off-road training will not be sufficient, as most types of adaptive equipment are quite complex. It is important to meet with your driver rehabilitation specialist for on-the-road training of your new equipment because they have the expertise and extensive knowledge of adaptive technologies.

Additionally, make sure that your vehicle is always in tip-top condition before hitting the road. Keep a running checklist and be sure to check it often for things such as:

  • Proper tire pressure
  • Frequent oil changes
  • Fluid levels (power steering, brake fluid, and engine coolant)

Keep in mind that your adaptive equipment may need more frequent check-ups or special attention than the rest of your regular vehicle maintenance!

Remember: just because life handed you or a family member a disability does not mean that you have to give up all of your freedom. There are so many great adaptive technologies available now, the key is figuring out with ones are right for you. Be sure to check out Metromile to get a free quote – it only takes a moment and could end up saving you a pretty penny! Be safe and see you on the roads!

Julianne Cronin is a Bay Area freelance writer, content creator, and founder/editor of the women’s lifestyle site, The Wink. You can find her working on her capsule wardrobe, collecting cacti, and trying out the latest beauty products on Instagram

9 Ways to Avoid Getting Your Car Stolen

Grand theft auto is on the rise, and no we aren’t referring to the video game! Vehicle theft has doubled in the past few years, and the trend continues to rise. According to the FBI, in 2016, 5.9 billion dollars were lost to motor vehicle theft. Yup, you read that right – billion with a “B.” This significant amount of dollars equates to 765,484 total vehicle thefts in the U.S., 60,000 of which happened in the L.A. area. Recovering stolen vehicles is possible, but 42% of the cars stolen aren’t ever recovered, which could mean saying sayonara to your precious baby forever.

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Vehicle theft can either be considered a felony or a misdemeanor depending on the circumstances and the state in which the defendant committed the crime. Most charges will include jail/prison time, restitution, a fine, or probation – yikes! The punishment may also be worse, depending on the value of the car.

If the stakes are so high, why are the instances of vehicle theft also so high?

The main reason is that vehicle parts are seen as a quick and easy way to make a profit. Some stolen vehicles get taken to “chop shops” where they are stripped down, and parts are sold to other auto shops or single buyers. Others “hot cars” will be sold for scrap metal or rushed out of the country. Still, other stolen cars are often concealed by “VIN-switching” which hides the identity of the stolen vehicle with a wrecked or salvaged vehicle. The stolen car is then sold to an unsuspecting buyer. Remember, it is always important to do your due diligence and research when buying auto parts or vehicles. If it seems fishy, then trust your gut!

To best prevent theft first you need to know some facts:

    Most common type of stolen vehicle (according to NICB):
    1. 1997 Honda Accord
    2. 1998 Honda Civic
    3. 2006 Ford Pickup (Full Size)
    4. 2004 Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)
    5. 2016 Toyota Camry
    Top methods by criminals to steal a motor vehicle:
    1. Theft of an unattended vehicle that consists of breaking an entering and then hotwiring and tampering with your car to start the vehicle to make their quick getaway.
    2. Stealing the car when it is unattended but the keys are left in the ignition.
    3. Carjacking happens when a vehicle is taken by force or threat from the driver.
    4. Purchasing a vehicle through fraudulent funds or the use of counterfeit checks.

Now that we have thoroughly freaked you out and made you panic about getting your car stolen, we are here to make you feel a little better.

Follow these tips to avoid vehicle theft:

  1. NEVER leave your car running or keys in the ignition. Even when pumping your gas or you are just going to BRB. Turn off your car no matter what and take your keys with you.
  2. Remove all personal belongings and valuables from your ride before leaving it. If you can’t do that, at least put them out of sight or in the trunk of your car.
  3. Park in a well-lit and populated area. Find parking that is near building entrances or close to security cameras.
  4. Don’t forget to roll up your windows and double check your car is locked, even if it is parked outside your house.
  5. Get your vehicle VIN etched on the windows, doors, fenders and trunk lid.
  6. Invest in an anti-theft device such as audible alarms, steering wheel locks, brake locks, a kill switch, lojack, or onstar. In some states, Metromile offers a discount for having a anti-theft or recovery device installed.
  7. Due your research before buying a car and look up the VIN to see if there is any history of the car. The National Insurance Crime Bureau provides a VIN check to see if the vehicle has been reported as a salvage or stolen.
  8. Use your noggin. If something doesn’t feel right or seems not a safe place to park or store your vehicle then trust your instinct.
  9. Be a Metromile customer. You will always know where your car is through our Smart Driving app and the help of the Pulse device. If your vehicle does happen to be stolen, our Pulse device can help track down where your stolen vehicle is.

If the worst happens and you discover your car is stolen, don’t panic, make a few phone calls to the police, your insurance company, and to the DMV, to report what has happened. If you are a Metromile customer, you won’t have to worry and we will be there for you in your time of need. Interested in learning how Metromile is disrupting the insurance industry, get a free quote today.

Kelsey Glynn is a blogger and owner of Social Graces, a business to support others in their social media needs. She is a contributing blog writer for East Valley Moms Blog, a social media content creator, and an avid photo taker. She is Metromile’s Senior Social Media Advocate and helps to maintain our online communities. You can catch her adventuring around AZ and living the mom life on Instagram.

Metromile How-To: Self-Service Endorsements

Metromile is committed to making car insurance more accessible and easier than ever before. We know insurance can be confusing, but our goal is to simplify the whole process. We want to save our customers the time and hassle of having to manage their insurance policy, and instead give them the peace of mind of knowing Metromile has your back, no matter what. But we also understand that your insurance needs may change over time; you may get a new car, move in with a boyfriend, or even sell an older car. Did you know that with Metromile you can make changes to your policy online or right from your mobile app? Save your precious time and add your vehicle or change your address with a few clicks of your fingers.

Trying to get the hang of how to navigate your Metromile online dashboard? Maybe you would place yourself in the not so tech-savvy category? Don’t worry we put together steps on how to complete several different changes (what we call “endorsements”) to your Metromile policy.

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How to Make Changes to Your Metromile Policy: Self-Service Endorsements

The first step is to be logged into your account. All changes can be made by clicking the “Policy” tab at the top of the page.

Adding/removing a vehicle:

    1. Click the ADD OR EDIT VEHICLES button.
    2. A screen will pop up to type your password in.
    3. You will be taken to the Edit Policy page.
    4. If you want to ADD a New Vehicle:

    • click ADD NEW VEHICLE, enter your new vehicle information in.
    • Select NEXT.
    • The following screen will be the VEHICLE COVERAGE screen. Your rates will update on the right hand side.
    • Select SAVE VEHICLE at the bottom.

    5. If you want to REMOVE a vehicle:

    • Click Remove.
    • A pop-up asking you to confirm changes will appear. Click ‘confirm.’

Adding/removing a driver:

    1. Click the ADD OR EDIT DRIVERS button.
    2. A screen will pop up to type your password in.
    3. You will be taken to the Edit Policy page.
    4. Click ADD A NEW DRIVER, REMOVE A DRIVER, or EDIT an existing driver.
    5. If you’re adding a new driver:

    • Enter in the driver information.
    • Click ADD DRIVER.
    • Rates will update on the right hand side.

    6. If you’re removing a driver:

    • Click REMOVE DRIVER.
    • A screen will pop up with a disclaimer to read.
    • Once reading it through to proceed push YES, REMOVE.

Changing Policy Coverages:

    1. Click the “Add or Edit Drivers” button.
    2. A screen will pop up to type your password in.
    3. You will be taken to the Edit Policy page.
    4. Under Vehicles in the Edit Policy page, you will a Policy Coverage section, push EDIT option.
    5. Choose your new limits.
    6. Click SAVE.

Changing Vehicle Coverages:

    1. Click the “Add or Edit Vehicles” button.
    2. A screen will pop up to type your password in.
    3. Click EDIT COVERAGE on the specific vehicle you wish to edit.
    4. Choose your new coverage options.
    5. Click SAVE.

Changing Vehicle Lienholder:

    1. Click the “Add Lienholder” button.
    2. A screen will pop up to type your password in.
    3. Under the specific vehicle, click Add Lienholder.
    4. Enter in your lienholder information.
    5. Click SAVE.

Updating/Changing Your Address:

    1. Depending on whether you are updating your garaging address or mailing address click “EDIT” next to the one you would like to update.
    2. A screen will pop up to type your password in.
    3. You will be taken to the Edit Policy page.
    4. Click EDIT next to the type of address – if you wish to update all of the addresses, you will be given that option.
    5. Enter your new address.
    6. Select whether or not to use the same address for your billing and mailing address.
    7. Click SAVE.

When making updates to your policy you will see a panel on the right hand of your screen that reviews any rates changes and has a CONTINUE button at the bottom. When you are ready and have inputted all the changes you want to make, push the CONTINUE button. Keep in mind that all changes will not be saved unless you SUBMIT and PAY, which should be the very last screen. Some changes may require an electronic signature, but if a signature is required you will see this section appear near the end of updating your policy process.

Now you are a self-service endorsement wizard! New car, new house, new driver, no problem. Any changes you will need in the future for your policy can all be done online when you log into your Metromile account. If you ever have any questions about your policy visit our Help Center, or you can find this page by clicking the “Contact Support” in the drop-down menu next to your name when you are logged into your account. If you haven’t yet made the switch to per-mile insurance, but are interested in making your auto insurance simple and easy, get a free quote today.

Kelsey Glynn is a blogger and owner of Social Graces, a business to support others in their social media needs. She is a contributing blog writer for East Valley Moms Blog, a social media content creator, and an avid photo taker. She is Metromile’s Senior Social Media Advocate and helps to maintain our online communities. You can catch her adventuring around AZ and living the mom life on Instagram.

Rental Car Safety Tips

If you’ve ever owned a car, you know the intimate bond that’s forged between driver and vehicle over time. You get to know this car — it’s your car. It might even have a name, a personality, a special skill (for example, my 1996 beauty goes by Lexi, she’s quirky but dependable, and she’s so scratched and dented, no one tries to mess with her).

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But when you don’t get behind the wheel often enough to merit a car purchase or you’re traveling far and need to leave the wheels behind, you might need to invest in a rental. And while a rented ride can be pretty sweet, it can also feel unfamiliar and kind of freaky. You never want to be uncomfortable on the road — tension and anxiety aren’t your allies when you’re trying to stay safe. Luckily, practicing a few simple strategies when you pick up your rental can help you find your cool and feel confident in the driver’s seat.

Rental Car Safety Tips

    1. Make sure your insurance plan includes car rental coverage. Most Metromile policies do transfer to rental vehicles, so if you’re a Metromile customer, you’re probably good to go. If you’re not sure what kind of coverage you have, contact your carrier ASAP and work out the details before you reserve your rental. Insurance is a must whether the vehicle you’re driving is yours or someone else’s — iron out the logistics ahead of time.

    2. Inspect your car at the lot. You might be stoked to drive off into the sunset in your new ride, but don’t leave the lot without doing a thorough inspection of the vehicle. Take a look at the mileage, look for dings and scratches, and check the tires and fluid levels (and make sure that gas tank is full!). You might also want to open the trunk and make sure you have the correct tools to change a tire if necessary.

    3. Cover the basics. Before you drive off, talk to the rental agent about who you should contact if the car breaks down, you misplace your keys, or you mistakenly leave them in the vehicle. Be sure to write the contact information down and keep it on you at all times (storing the info in your phone is great, but what happens if you accidentally lock that sucker in the car along with your keys?).

    4. Get familiar. Even if you’ve been behind the wheel since high school, all cars are different — your rental will likely have some quirks you’re not familiar with. Take a few minutes to adjust your seat and mirrors, locate the turn signals and light switches, and take a brief lap around the lot to make sure you feel confident.

    5. As always, buckle up. It should go without saying, but seatbelts are a must, no matter which car you’re driving. Don’t forget to secure your belt before you go.

    6. Study your geography. If you’re in a new area, be sure to take a good long look at a map, consult your GPS, and plan your route ahead of time.

    7. Eliminate the distractions before you drive. If you know you’re going to want to listen to the radio or play music on your phone, figure out the technical logistics before you start the engine. Distracted driving is a major cause of accidents — stash your phone somewhere where you won’t be tempted to glance at it, and prepare to focus all your attention on the road.

Whether you’re traveling for work or gearing up for an epic summer road trip, taking basic precautions will help keep you safe in your rental car. Need insurance coverage that will have your back, wherever you go? Visit www.metromile.com today for a free quote.

Michelle Konstantinovsky is a San Francisco-based journalist/writer/editor and UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism alumna. She’s written extensively on health, body image, entertainment, lifestyle, design, and tech for outlets like Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, Teen Vogue, O: The Oprah Magazine, Seventeen, and a whole lot more. She’s also a contributing editor at Fitbit and the social media director at California Home + Design Magazine. She is an avid admirer of shiny objects, manatees, and preteen entertainment.

Safe Driving Tips for Seniors

Getting older is tough on everyone. With every passing year, the time seems to go by faster than ever. As we age, our driving abilities can become affected – which is dangerous for both ourselves and those on the road with us. Something that once seemed like second nature, like turning your head to look for oncoming traffic, suddenly become more difficult.

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However, there are some tips to keep aging drivers on the road safely. Let’s dive in!

Safe Driving Tips for Older Drivers

    1. Take stock of your health. Make yourself a checklist and go down the list, one time at a time.

      1. Do you have any pain or stiffness? This may affect your ability to turn the wheel or look in the mirrors.
      2. Have you been diagnosed with any chronic conditions (i.e. diabetes, seizures, etc.)? A chronic condition may affect your safety on the road, so it’s best to discuss this with a doctor before continuing to get behind the wheel.
      3. Do you tire easily? Aging drivers may experience fatigue more often than younger drivers, which affects how long you’re able to drive.
      4. Do you feel stressed? Feeling stressed can affect other health conditions that may be present in aging drivers, such as heart disease. Again, it’s best to chat with your doctor about the best options for your health as you age.

    2. Schedule regular hearing and vision tests. Often times, the bodily systems that we once relied on every day begin to fail us as we age. Vision problems that affect seniors – such as glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration – make it difficult to see clearly and make it especially difficult to drive at night. Impaired hearing can affect your ability to hear oncoming traffic, such as emergency vehicles or trains. Check with your doctor on how often your vision and hearing should be evaluated, and be sure to stick to your doctor’s recommended schedule (even if you think you’re fine!).

    3. Stay active! Often times, keeping your body physically active is the best way to stave off the effects of aging. Staying active keeps your flexibility and strength at the top of its game and may allow you to continue to drive well into your older years. Walking is a great way to stay active, and incorporating stretching and strength training will also help keep your body in peak physical condition.

    4. Check your medications for side effects. If you’re managing a health condition with prescription medication, always be sure to read the label and check for side effects of the medication. If the prescription bottle states that you should not operate heavy machinery, do not drive (a car definitely counts as heavy machinery!). If the medication doesn’t list any warnings but you still feel as though your cognitive or physical abilities are affected, contact your doctor – they may advise you to find a different means of transportation while on the medication.

    5. Understand and acknowledge that you may have limitations. You can’t do everything you used to do when you were younger, and that’s okay. If you’re having difficulties with your current vehicle, look into swapping it for a vehicle that is more suited for your current needs. For example, if you find driving over potholes or speed bumps jarring, look for a vehicle with a softer suspension to make those a bit easier on you. Cars with larger, easier-to-see dials, odometers, etc. are also popular with older drivers. Additionally, many newer vehicles have built-in systems to help with changing lanes safely, parking, and backing up – all which can help an aging driver maintain their independence.

    6. Take a refresher course. You’ve been driving a long time – maybe you didn’t even take driver’s education and your parents or older sibling taught you how to drive one Saturday afternoon! Consider taking a refresher course for older drivers. It will help you stay on top of the current rules of the road, and you might even learn a thing or two! Look for courses available through a community education program or local organizations that serve seniors and older adults.

As we age, we also tend to start driving less frequently. If you’ve recently found that you are driving less, Metromile may be the perfect solution for you. Be sure to get a free quote today and find out how much you could be saving by switching to Metromile!

Julianne Cronin is a Bay Area freelance writer, content creator, and founder/editor of the women’s lifestyle site, The Wink. You can find her working on her capsule wardrobe, collecting cacti, and trying out the latest beauty products on Instagram

Safety on the Road

Welcome to National Safety Month! Us Metromilers take safety pretty seriously. Did you know that in 2017 alone, more than 40,000 people died in motor vehicle crashes? Here at Metromile, we are determined to decrease that statistic and make our roads a safer place for everyone.

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The three most prevalent causes of fatalities on the road are speeding, drunk/drowsy driving, and distracted driving. If we all pitch in and do our part, we can reduce the amount of vehicle-related deaths. Let’s do it, Metromilers!

Speeding

First up, let’s address the number one cause of vehicle-related fatalities: speeding. Speeding is a danger to everyone on the road – not just the driver. In 2016 alone, speeding killed 10,111 people, which is a horrifying statistic to wrap our heads around. We get it – we’re all busy and usually running late to something, but going faster than the posted speed limit will only get you to your destination mere seconds before going the speed limit will. The speed limit is there to protect all road users and is not just another annoying policy to keep in mind when driving.

The consequences of speeding are more than just breaking the law – they can be deadly. When you speed, you have a greater potential for losing control of your vehicle. This leads to increased stopping distance if there’s a hazard in the road, and increased degree of severity in the event of a crash.

As a driver on the road, there are things you can do to watch your own speeds and ensure that you are not a danger to yourself or others. Pay attention to posted speed limits and abide by them. Avoid driving aggressively and be courteous of other drivers and road users. If you anticipate traffic on the way to your destination, try to leave a little bit earlier to alleviate stress associated with running late. If you’re already going to be late, speeding is not going to change that fact! Arriving two minutes earlier won’t matter if you’re already arriving late, so try not to stress.

As a member of your community, you can do your part to bring an end to speeding. Participate in a speed management program – NHTSA delivers a Speed Management Program course to State and local jurisdictions. The course uses a multidisciplinary approach to address speeding problems in states and local communities.

Impaired Driving

The second cause of vehicle-related fatalities: impaired driving. This includes driving while drunk, on drugs, or drowsy. This type of driving is entirely irresponsible and entirely preventable. In the United States alone, 29 people die every day from alcohol-impaired driving-related incidents.

If you’ve been drinking or taking drugs (some prescription medications count, too), never get behind the wheel. Always have a sober friend or a designated driver drive you, or Uber/Lyft your way home. Also, did you know that driving drowsy is just as bad as driving drunk? Being awake for 18 hours straight has the same effect on your brain as a blood alcohol level of .05 (for reference, the legal blood alcohol limit is .08). If you’ve been awake for a full 24 hours, the effect doubles – it has the same effect on your brain as a .10 blood alcohol level. If you’re feeling drowsy, always pull over and rest before getting back on the road – don’t try to chug coffee and speed to your destination to get there faster because it won’t work; the only true remedy for drowsiness is sleep.

Communities should come together to stand against impaired driving. It is especially important to make teens and new drivers aware of the dangers of impaired driving. Many teens do not get enough sleep at the same time that their biological need for sleep increases, thereby increasing the risk of drowsy driving accidents – especially on longer trips. Each November, the National Sleep Foundation conducts Drowsy Driving Prevention Week in an effort to reduce the number of drowsy driving crashes. Let’s do our part to reduce impaired driving – both drunk and drowsy. If everyone makes an effort, it will have a larger-scale impact on our communities!

Distracted Driving

We’ve all heard the statistics: every day in the US, 9 people are killed in a texting and driving related accident. That’s not a meaningless number – every single digit is a human life that was ended as a direct result of distracted driving. Texting is the number one distraction impairing drivers on the road today! Traveling at 55 mph, you can cover the length of an entire football field by taking your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. Let that sink in for a moment.

When you’re behind the wheel, you have one job: to get to your destination safely and without harming anyone else. In order to reduce the amount of people killed in distracted-driving related accidents, we all have to do our part. Never, ever text and drive! If you absolutely must respond to that chirping notification, pull over and put the car in park before even looking at your phone. In addition to texting, distracted driving can also mean updating or scrolling through social media, changing your Spotify playlist, or talking on the phone. Have your passenger help you by acting as the car DJ or posting to social for you; let’s find any way to limit the amount of distracted driving accidents! Also, check out our post here for more tips on reducing distracted driving.

By taking action and working together, we can all make the roads a safer place for everyone. From reducing your speed, to never getting behind the wheel impaired, to making it a personal policy that you never text and drive, every little bit counts. Let’s all do our part to drive safely – after all, we’re in this together! Don’t forget that you can always grab a free quote from Metromile to find out how much you could be saving on your car insurance. Be safe out there and see you on the roads!

Julianne Cronin is a Bay Area freelance writer, content creator, and founder/editor of the women’s lifestyle site, The Wink. You can find her working on her capsule wardrobe, collecting cacti, and trying out the latest beauty products on Instagram

Baby on Board: Driving Safe With Kids in the Car

Driving in and of itself can be stressful (think: road rage, traffic jams, and the frustration of finding a good soundtrack), but add a young passenger into the mix, and the open road can suddenly feel like a war zone.

Whether you’re running errands with an infant or tooling around town with a niece or nephew, it’s important to know the ways to maximize safety. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death among kids in the United States: In 2015, 663 children ages 12 years and younger died in motor vehicle traffic crashes, and nearly 132,000 were injured.

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Here are some tips for keeping kids protected in the car:

    1. Know the Car Seat Rules. Laws vary from state to state, but based on the latest research, infants and toddlers should always ride in rear-facing backseat carriers until they’re at least two years old or reach the height and weight allowed by the seat manufacturer, according to organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics. Once kids outgrow the rear-facing seat, they should then use a forward-facing seat with a harness for as long as possible (up to the highest weight or height indicated by the manufacturer). Never put a rear-facing seat in the front of the car — airbags can be deadly to young passengers.

    2. Buckle Up the Right Way. Once kids outgrow the forward-facing seats, it’s time to upgrade to a belt-positioning booster until the car’s seat belt fits properly (usually when a kid reaches 4 feet 9 inches and is over the age of five). When kids are big enough for the seat belt to properly fit their frame, lap and shoulder belts are a must, and kids under 13 should stay in the back seat (again, airbags can cause fatal injuries to young children). Buckling up is critical at every stage of life, and it’s an essential rule to implement at an early age: according to the organization Safe Kids Worldwide, only 53 percent of high school students reported always wearing a safety belt when riding with someone else.

    3. Eliminate All Distractions. This is seriously scary: one study found that 98 percent (!) of parents driving with a child report being preoccupied for nearly a third of the time they’re on the road. That’s no joke, especially when you consider the fact that distracted driving claimed the lives of 3,450 people in 2016 alone, according to the United States Department of Transportation (NHTSA). Put the phone far out of reach, familiarize yourself with the roads, and forget about primping in the rearview or snacking until you’re safely parked.

    4. Pull Over To Deal With Must-Dos. Kids get fussy — it happens. But according to a poll from American Baby in partnership with Safe Kids Worldwide, 55 percent of moms admit to driving above the speed limit in order to make it to daycare or to get home with their crying baby faster. Speeding up and driving hastily is only going to increase your risk for an accident. It’s better to pull over to deal with a mood meltdown and run late than push your luck by accelerating over the limit.

    5. Always Stay Close. Leaving kids in the car is always a bad idea, even if you’re just running out for a quick minute. Children die every year from heatstroke — many of whom were left unattended in cars. Allowing children to play near a parked car should be a no-go too. If you’re backing out of the driveway, always take the time to circle your vehicle and make sure no children are in the vicinity and at risk of being hit.

Another important way to protect the whole family is to find a car insurance company that has your back. Visit metromile.com for a free quote today.

Michelle Konstantinovsky is a San Francisco-based journalist/writer/editor and UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism alumna. She’s written extensively on health, body image, entertainment, lifestyle, design, and tech for outlets like Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, Teen Vogue, O: The Oprah Magazine, Seventeen, and a whole lot more. She’s also a contributing editor at Fitbit and the social media director at California Home + Design Magazine. She is an avid admirer of shiny objects, manatees, and preteen entertainment.

Metromile Claims, By The Numbers

There were over 4.5 million car accidents involving property damage in the U.S. last year. And while not every accident turns into a claim, and not every claim is handled by Metromile, we still care. Why? Because we’re building a seamless claims process so that even the most minor fender benders can be resolved quickly and you can get back on the road faster.

So today, we are taking a look at all the claims we resolved in 2017, and how the whole process was made simpler with the help of data, science, technology — and a little bit of magic.


*Based on 2017 Metromile Claims Data.

Want to learn more about our experimental approach to building a better claims experience?

The best way to get to the truth of what low-impact and hit-and-run crashes would look like to the Pulse and AVA is to truly measure those collisions in the field. So that’s precisely what we did. We found a couple of used cars and put Pulse devices in them. Then we crashed them. Over, and over again.

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20 Tips for Becoming a Safer Driver

Safe Driving is the first step in preventing accidents on the road. June is National Safety Month and to celebrate we will be advocating all month long for driving safety. This month focuses on reducing leading causes of injury and death at work, in our homes and communities, and on the road. Vehicle safety is more important than ever since statistics are showing that auto accidents are on the rise. We understand that there are more distractions than ever while driving these days; the map on your car’s dashboard won’t work, the kids are screaming in the backseat, and your cell phone is buzzing, but it is your responsibility when you get behind a wheel to ensure your and others safety.

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Here are 20 Actions You Can Take to Become A Safer Driver:

    1. Focus on driving. Keep your attention and eyes on the road at all times. No-multi-tasking while driving, put all the distractions away and focus on what is happening around you.

    2. Plan Ahead. Everyone is always running late which can cause high speeds and distracted driving. Wake up a little bit earlier so you can leave for your commute a few minutes earlier. Doing so will help you slow down. Give yourself some extra time in case there are accidents on your route, or you need to stop for gas along the way.

    3. In the case of an accident, focus your eyes on where to go. When spinning out of control, focus your eyes on where you want your car to be rather than the object that it might hit. Because of hand-eye coordination, if your eyes are looking right then, your vehicle will also go right.

    4. Maintain control when tires blow out. Try your best to keep the car driving in a straight line and slow your speed. Have two hands on the wheel and pull over to a safe place when able. Don’t slam on the brakes or try to speed during this time, it can cause worse damage to your tire and can make maintaining control harder.

    5. Go the speed limit. It seems pretty simple, but the speed limit signs are there for a reason; to protect you and others on the road. If you are speeding more damage can be caused when an accident does occur. Remember: it is okay to maintain the correct speed limit and let others pass by you.

    6. Get your road rage under control. Road rage can cause unnecessary aggressive driving. Take a deep breath and cool down before taking out your anger on the road or other vehicles/drivers around you.

    7. Watch the weather. During inclement weather, drive at slower speeds to avoid skidding on ice or hydroplaning. Turn your lights on day or night when it is raining or if there is fog. Remember: when the weather is terrible, go easy on the brakes to maintain better control over your vehicle.

    8. Look both ways at an intersection. It only takes a few seconds to look both ways before going again after the light turns green. Before you cross, take a quick peak left and right to be sure that no other cars are coming through the intersection.

    9. Keep your distance. No one likes a tailgater. The rule of thumb is to be three seconds apart from the car in front of you. Double that amount if there happens to be bad weather. Don’t underestimate the amount of stopping distance you need between yourself and the car in front of you.

    10. Grip the steering wheel correctly. Keep your hands at 10 and 2. Keeping a good grip on the wheel is helpful when avoiding hazards on the road.

    11. Stay alert and awake. If you do find yourself feeling sleepy, the best thing to do is pull over and take a short nap. If you recognize you are too tired before you drive then it is best to stay home and avoid being behind the wheel at all. If you can’t avoid driving, think about opening a window to feel the breeze or singing along to a song to help keep you alert.

    12. Wear your seatbelt the right way. Make sure the lap and shoulder belt is snug and that you are wearing the lap part of the seatbelt on your hips. Seatbelts are there to protect you and others from being thrown from the car if an accident happens. Wearing it saves lives, so just do it.

    13. Pay attention to the flow of traffic. Sometimes signs are helpful, but just because a light or a sign is saying you have the right away, doesn’t always mean that is what is actually happening. Focus on the traffic flow and what other drivers are doing too.

    14. Pick the right music station. Calming music can help keep you calm on the road. But intense music can distract you and not keep you as focused as you should be. Fiddling with your radio station or music is extremely distracting while driving, so be sure to set your tunes before you start your trip.

    15. Look as far ahead as you can. You should try and focus your eyes past the first few cars in front of you. Doing so will keep you prepared for what is ahead.

    16. Keep your headlights on. Driving with your lights on during the day can help others be more aware of you on the road.

    17. Use your parking brake more. If you don’t use it regularly, your parking brake can stop working correctly. Parking breaks prevent your call from rolling when parked on an incline. They can also act as an emergency brake if your regular brakes stop working.

    18. Don’t break during a tire blow out. If you lay on the brakes when you have a tire blow out, it can potentially cause your car to flip into another vehicle or median. Do the opposite of what you think, hit the gas slightly and try to stay as straight as possible.

    19. No Drinking and Driving. Although this seems like it should be common sense, there are many people out there that do decide to get behind the wheel after they have had one too many drinks. Do yourself and all of us a favor and call a rideshare or cab.

    20. Put your phone away. Our phones are one of the biggest distractions when it comes to driving. Newer phones have the drive mode feature, where it will answer a text from a friend back saying that you are driving right now. The best way to avoid looking at your phone is putting it out of sight.

Follow the rules of the road and be courteous to other drivers. No distraction is worth a car crash or a life. June may be National Safety Month, but safety should be practiced 24/7 while driving. Here at Metromile, we want you to be safe on the road whenever possible. If you find that you don’t drive much or that you are spending less time on the road, then pay-per-mile auto insurance could be an excellent fit for you. Get a fast and free quote today!

Kelsey Glynn is a blogger and owner of Social Graces, a business to support others in their social media needs. She is a contributing blog writer for East Valley Moms Blog, a social media content creator, and an avid photo taker. She is Metromile’s Senior Social Media Advocate and helps to maintain our online communities. You can catch her adventuring around AZ and living the mom life on Instagram.

Why Defensive Driving Matters

One crucial thing all new drivers learn in their first year on the road: you cannot control what other drivers are going to do. However, as time goes on, many people don’t retain these skills and simply become reactionary on the road. After your years of white-knuckling the wheel have passed you by, defensive driving still holds true – and it is just as important as that first day you sat in the driver’s seat.

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Defensive driving matters. By practicing defensive driving, you’re putting yourself in a proactive position rather than simply reacting to the potential hazards on the roads. You are putting yourself and the other drivers and passengers around you in a safer position by constantly retaining awareness of your surroundings. For example, always try to look 15 seconds ahead to anticipate hazards. This practice of defensive driving reduces the likelihood of a collision, may reduce fuel consumption, and ensures a smooth ride for you and your passengers (anyone who gets car sick knows this is very important).

So, what can you do to ensure you are driving defensively? Let’s throw it all the way back to driver’s ed. Here are our best tips for defensive driving, Metromilers.

Our Best Defensive Driving Tips

    1. Maintain a 3-second gap between you and the car in front of you. You never know when someone is going to slam on their brakes!
    2. Always use your turn signal; signal early and signal often. This is especially important when changing lanes, because the other drivers on the road can’t read your mind and are focused on staying in their own lane! Also, try to minimize lane changes, if possible.
    3. Know where you want to go. If you’re confused and lost, there’s no doubt that the other drivers around you on the road are feeling your confusion. Sudden braking, speeding up, and sudden lane changes or turns are a recipe for disaster. The worst thing you can do is drive around aimlessly. If you’re lost or turned around, pull over and figure out your route before getting back on the road.
    4. When you’re following behind someone, look through their windshield at the car in front of them. This will give you even more of an opportunity to brake slowly if traffic suddenly slows or stops.
    5. Be courteous of others. If someone is trying to merge, slow down to let them in instead of speeding past.
    6. Do not drive if you’re feeling tired, angry, or upset. These feelings and emotions affect your decision-making process and may make you less aware or cognizant of others on the road.

Remember: until self-driving cars are a reality, behind every wheel is another human who can make mistakes. A defensive driver does not solely focus on their actions, but anticipates the actions of others on the road. As always, we’re here if you have questions about your current policy or are thinking of making the switch to Metromile! Be safe, drive defensively, and see you on the roads!

Julianne Cronin is a Bay Area freelance writer, content creator, and founder/editor of the women’s lifestyle site, The Wink. You can find her working on her capsule wardrobe, collecting cacti, and trying out the latest beauty products on Instagram