The Dangers of Drowsy Driving

The following is a guest post from Scott Huntington, who writes about driving, cars, and more on his blog Off The Throttle and all over the internet. Follow him on Twitter @SMHuntington.

You may feel safe on long car trips because you’re a careful driver, but don’t overlook the dangers of drowsy driving. It causes 7% of all crashes in the U.S. and is responsible for more than 20% of fatal vehicle crashes nationwide every year.


Drivers who only sleep four to five hours can be as impaired as people who are legally drunk. Even drivers who only get slightly less sleep — one to two hours — have double the risk of crashing than someone who has the required eight hours. There are many reasons that people become drowsy drivers. They may be unable to get sufficient sleep, operate under a chronic sleep debt or having demanding jobs that require them to do activities that lead to fragmented or insufficient sleep.

What can you do if you feel drowsy while driving? First, pull over and take a nap. Even 15 to 20 minutes’ worth of sleep can refresh you enough to make your driving safer. Second, drink two cups of coffee. Caffeine does work to some degree! Wait one-half hour and then resume driving.

When you drive distances of 100 miles or more, take a break every two hours. The breaks will refresh you and keep you alert.

If possible, treat drowsy drivers as you would drunk drivers. Don’t let people who’ve had only a few hours of sleep drive. Call a taxi or ride service, or else have a family member or friend drive them. Appoint a designated driver if you’re expecting a lack of sleep due to a party. This goes double if you plan on drinking.

Above all, awareness is key. If poor habits are the cause of your lack of sleep, make every effort to correct them. Drowsy driving is dangerous, so make every effort to get a good night’s sleep to prevent accidents. If you must drive, take a nap. Make the roads safer for all of us.

4 Reasons Why Self-Driving Cars Are a Big Deal

Breakthroughs in self-driving car technology are becoming more frequent, but the concept might still seem very far-off. Before you brush off the idea of driverless cars, thinking it won’t apply to your own life anytime soon, think again. It’s looking pretty likely that autonomous technology will be available for the masses in the next decade or so! If you are wondering why this is such a big deal, here are four ways that self-driving cars will revolutionize the way we get around.


  1. Taxis (and Uber and Lyft) will be a lot cheaper. Since the cost of a driver will be removed from the equation, it will be much less expensive to operate taxis and all ridesharing platforms. That means cheaper rides for everyone! Because of the lower prices, many people will opt to take taxis versus driving their own car, which means there will be fewer cars on the road. This also means less traffic and less demand for parking. The best news? This is one of the most likely scenarios to happen soon, as Uber and Lyft are key proponents of autonomous technology and already putting forth substantial efforts into its development.
  2. Lives will be saved. Self-driving cars won’t be capable of doing risky (and illegal) things like speeding or drinking and driving, which means there will be far fewer accident-related deaths. In 2013, car accidents killed 32,000 people, which means we could save close to that many lives with the intelligence of self-driving cars.
  3. There will be less pollution. While we don’t know the exact specifications of self-driving cars, it’s presumed that they will have substantial energy efficiency benefits. A new report from the Intelligent Transportation Society is one of the first to quantify the benefits and projects a 2-4% reduction in oil consumption and related greenhouse gas emissions each year as “intelligent transportation systems” become available to the masses.
  4. The elderly will have more mobility. Self-driving cars will make it easier for the elderly and those who are vision impaired to get around since they will no longer have to rely on a driver to take them places. This will give them the freedom to move around according to their own schedules.

It’s pretty clear that the introduction of self-driving cars could have a significant impact on our everyday lives. Here at Metromile, we are especially excited to see how autonomous technology evolves and develops, as we are positioned to adapt our per-mile insurance model. Because we are able to segment periods of time (like with our Uber partnership where we can identify if a driver is driving for Uber or personal use), we’ll be able to help distinguish between when a car is controlled by a human or a computer. And if per-mile insurance is truly a future-proof concept, why not get started and start saving money today? Learn more at

Holiday Special for new CA insurance customers

Tis the season!

The hustle and bustle of Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come to a close. But here at Metromile, we know many more shopping days loom ahead. That’s why we’ve got a special two week offer for California customers to save on auto insurance.

The above image is a composite of three photos (Photo, Photo, and Photo) under the license CC BY 2.0.
The above image is a composite of three photos (Photo, Photo, and Photo) under the license CC BY 2.0.

For California customers, we’re offering a special one-time $50 rebate* for new** pay-per-mile insurance policies.

Why only California? There are guidelines for each state that dictate what is allowed for new insurance policies. As much as we would love to extend the rebate to everyone, we’ve got to follow the rules surrounding special offers.

What defines being a “new” insurance customer? It means you do not already have a pay-per-mile insurance policy through Metromile. You may already be a Metromile app user, but if you don’t have the per-mile insurance, you’re eligible!

This offer is good from Tuesday 12/2/14 through 12/16/14. Your policy’s effective date can be outside that timeframe if you choose; you just need to sign up for the insurance within those 2 weeks.

You can purchase on our site ( or by calling us at 888.958.5973 (7am-6pm Pacific M-F).To receive the rebate, please use the code HOLIDAY14. For those planning to buy online, you’ll enter the code on the payment page. When asked “How did you hear about us?”, use the option for “Other” to type in HOLIDAY14. For those who call, please mention it during your conversation with our Customer Experience Advocates.

We hope everyone has a very happy holiday season!

*Rebate will be awarded in the form of an electronic $50 Amazon gift card. Processing can take 4-6 weeks after policy has been purchased.

** Offer valid for new insurance policies purchased between 12:00am Pacific Tuesday 12/2/14 and 11:59pm Pacific Tuesday 12/16/14. Rebate can not be applied to previous purchases nor be combined with any other offers. Rebate will not be awarded if purchase is cancelled within 2 weeks of sign-up date.

Settings & Sharing update on Android

Our Android app now has Settings & Sharing!

What cool features are included?

1. Set notifications for street sweeping and DTCs (diagnostic trouble codes) in 3 ways: push alerts via the app, SMS, and email.

2. Set your preferred fuel type* for more accurate Fuel Cost calculations.

3. Request a data export via the app; the CSV file will then be available for download in your online dashboard.

4. Add a photo of your beloved car under Settings.

5. Your VIN* (vehicle identification number) will show in Settings if available (about 60% of cars will be able to share this via the OBDII port).

6. Sharing! You can share just about everything from the app: Trips, Street Sweeping alerts, DTCs, Car Location, potential Insurance Savings, and the app itself. Just look for the sharing symbol in the upper right corner.

In case our iOS users didn’t know, these features are all available on our iOS app too.

Update your Android app to version 1.1.1 today!

* Not all car makes/models may have this info (varies by manufacturer)


Share the love of Metromile & help the environment

We appreciate when our users share our app – after all, friends help friends become savvier drivers! We’ve got a new way to say thank you to those of you who do. During the month of September, for every 2 friends you refer who sign up for Metromile, we will gift you 1,000lbs of Carbon Credits. 

What is a Carbon Credit exactly? It’s a way to help the environment by funding projects that more directly reduce emissions. For example, one project could involve planting more trees while another could focus on capturing harmful greenhouse gases from getting into the atmosphere. A credit of 1,000lbs is like preventing the emission from 50 gallons of gas!

We all wish we could do more to help the environment, and every effort, no matter how big or small, counts. Biking and using public transportation are great ways that are more readily available to us. Driving is not going away anytime soon, and cars do enable wonderful conveniences. Carbon credits are just one way to help mitigate carbon footprints.

Can’t wait to start sharing and help do some good for our environment? Just log into your online dashboard at You’ll see a green button in the top right area that says “Carbon Credits Referral!”. After clicking, you’ll see 3 options for sharing: email, Facebook, or Twitter.

Your friends must use the links provided in any of the 3 methods, otherwise, we will not be able to connect the referral back to you in order to send you the Carbon Credits. The new user does NOT need to sign up for pay-per-mile insurance; he or she just needs to create a user-account through 

We’ll check every week for your referrals and award on a weekly basis. The email associated with your Metromile account is what we’ll use to send your gift. Maximum number of gifts that can be earned is 4 (i.e. 8 referrals) per person. First 5 people to get 8 referrals within the month of September will receive a Metromile t-shirt and sunglasses!

We look forward to seeing how many pounds of emissions our Metromile community can achieve in one month! Stay tuned for updates by following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

To learn more about Carbon Credits:

How emissions reduction projects work

The Low Down on Pay-Per-Mile Insurance

By now, you may have heard of the Pay-Per-Mile insurance Metromile offers.  To put it simply, the less you drive, the more you could save. We are the only ones who offer this product in the USA (currently in 4 states)! We only measure mileage, not driving behavior (like how hard you brake).

Since launching in California, we’ve gotten many questions about per-mile insurance. We wanted to share some of our most common questions because chances are, you may be wondering the same thing.

  • How much money will I save with per-mile insurance?

On average, our customers are saving up to $500 per year. You can even calculate your potential savings within our app itself; just find “Insurance Savings” on the left-side menu. Visit our page and answer a few questions about yourself and your car. You will immediately be able to see a preliminary quote and use the savings calculator to see how much money you could save in a year.

  • Can I choose my coverage?

Yes! Just like with the insurance you have now, you can choose your deductible amount and liability protection. If you don’t need comprehensive or collision insurance, just set the deductible to “no coverage”. Use the slider to choose between different liability protection packages and see the monthly base rate as well as per-mile charge adjust.

  • What does per-mile insurance cover?

Metromile covers you just like any other car insurance. We offer full coverage including comprehensive & collision (the damage that occurs to your car). To cover property damage and injury to others, you can choose bodily injury liability limits of up to $250,000/$500,000.

  • How is my monthly bill calculated?

The monthly base rate varies based on the number of days in the month and how much you drive. You also aren’t charged for the miles you drive over 150 a day (250 in Washington). Starting with your second bill, the per-mile charges for the previous month are added to your bill.

  • Do I need to install the app before I get the insurance?

No, you don’t actually need our app in order to have the insurance. The app is one of two ‘portals’, if you will, to see your data, which we visualize for you in pretty graphs and charts. The other way to see your data is via the online dashboard (just log-in at

  • How long do I need to drive around after I get the app to make sure I’ll stay under 10K miles per year?

No need to wait!  As mentioned above, the app is separate from the insurance. You are the best person to assess how many miles you will drive per year. We have a feature in our iOS app that can help you estimate savings, but you don’t need to wait at all after installing the app in order to get the insurance.

  • Does my monthly base rate ever change?

Your quoted policy lasts for six months. After that time, your monthly rate will be re-evaluated at renewal. Several factors can affect your rate, like citations and violations.

  • How do I pay my Metromile insurance?

The amount due is automatically billed each month to the debit / credit card that you provide during sign-up. We make it easy for you to update your billing information anytime. Just edit on your online dashboard.

  • What other benefits are included with Metromile insurance?

Roadside assistance and rental car reimbursement are both included with our full comprehensive and collision coverage.

  • What if I decide I to sell my car or realize that I need to drive it much more often than I originally planned?

We understand that the adventure of life includes change – maybe you’ll decide to not have a car anymore, or you may have a new commute that requires putting more miles on the road. We realize that per-mile insurance may not work financially for you all the time. We just hope it becomes a considered option if it fits well with your lifestyle.

If you think per-mile insurance could help you save each month, request your free quote today and see how much extra savings you could pocket!

Win Tickets to the UCSF Mission Bay Kick-Off Celebration!

Join us for the UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay Kick-Off Celebration September 6th!

The UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay is opening three new hospitals dedicated to providing specialized care for women, children and cancer patients. Grand opening festivities begin with an interactive 5k walk ending on campus for a fun-filled festival which concludes with a spectacular lights show. As a proud sponsor, we’re giving away 12 free tickets to the event (valued at $100 each).

How can you win? By answering a question in one of three ways.

What’s the question? How do you commute (method & miles)?

  • Follow us on Twitter and tweet @Metromile your answer
  • Like us on Facebook and comment on our page’s post about the event
  • Follow us on Google+ and comment on our post about the event

An Example Reply for entry:

“@Metromile I drive 5 miles to work every morning!”

(Method: driving, Miles: 5)

By following us on one or more of our social media platforms and answering our question, you automatically get put in the running to win one of the 12 tickets for the event. We will choose winners September 4th at 10am -so keep your ears perked. Upon winning, we will contact you for registration information. The Hard Hat 5K walk and Light Festival is Saturday, September 6th from 5:30pm-8:30pm.

Whether you live in San Francisco, or are just visiting for the weekend, you’re eligible to participate in the raffle. Help support our community and join us for this awesome event!

Jumpstarting your car 101: There is a right way to do it

Sooner or later, everyone finds themselves in a situation where their car needs a good jumpstart. While MetroMile offers roadside assistance, if you find yourself with friend that doesn’t have this service, or think you can get the job done quicker, you might want to know how to jump your car yourself, and if that’s the case, read on…

First up, you’ll want to make sure that the battery is the problem. If there’s another reason that your car won’t start, then jumping the battery won’t help you. Having dim headlights or a dim dashboard, or no “juice” when you turn the key is a good indication that you left the lights on, or that the battery needs replacing. 

In order to jump a car, you need to have a companion car relatively close to the battery of the dead car. Find out where each battery is located, so that you can get the batteries as close to each other as possible. Some jumper cables are longer than others, so this is especially important if you have short cables. Batteries are usually in the front part of the car, but not always. 

Each battery will have a positive and a negative terminal, usually prominently marked with a + or – sign.

Safety is a big concern with jumping a battery, don’t skip any safety steps!

  • Make sure that the disabled car is turned off, and that the electrical items are turned off, such as the lights, the radio, etc. 
  • The cars should be close to each other, but not touching.
  • Inspect the battery. If it is oozing, or broken, then call a cab instead, or get a ride, and replace the battery entirely.
  • If either battery is corroded, then you can usually remove the corrosion from the battery cables and posts with a stiff brush or coarse cloth. It is very important to have the connection be clean on both batteries.
  • Use gloves if you have them.
  • Protect your eyes, if possible.
  • Concerning the jumper cables, be sure that they don’t touch each other after they are connected to the car, or during the connection process. The arching can be fatal! The cables should be unwound, not left in a bundle, so that you have good control over the clamp ends. 
  • If you don’t have jumper cables in good condition, then consider other options. You should have both a red cable and a black cable. 

The Connection sequence

  1. First, connect a red cable to the positive terminal on the dead battery.
  2. Second, connect the other end of the red cable to the positive terminal of the good battery. 
  3. Third, connect a black cable to the negative post on the good battery. 
  4. The fourth sequence is a really important one, because this will close the circuit. If the black cable is connected to the negative post of the dead battery, then you risk igniting gas that is coming off of the battery. Look for an exposed, unpainted metal surface, such as a battery bolt or other shiny metal attached to the engine. If nothing is apparent then the negative post may be a last resort.

Keep the cables away from the engine so that moving parts don’t damage the jumper cables, and so that the clamps don’t touch each other.

Start the working car first, and let it idle. Rev it a little, but not too much, for about 30 to 60 seconds. This will actually charge the dead battery, even though the dead car is not started yet. 

Now try to start the disabled car. If it doesn’t work, then turn off the engines, disconnect the last-connected cable, and try to secure the connections at all points. Use a longer “charging” attempt this time by running the engine at a high idle for about five minutes. If the disabled car still doesn’t start, then you will probably have to replace the battery. 

The 8 Best Apps For Daily Driving

If you think your commute to work is long, you should talk to the 600,000 American citizens who commute 90 minutes and 50 miles to work on a regular basis. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 10.8 million Americans spend an hour or two everyday to make it to the office. The 8 best apps for daily driving can make that long commute less of a hassle. Take a look at some of our favorites, below…

    1. MetroMile: MetroMile keeps you mindful of your fuel usage and keys you in to the health of your engine. It can even locate your car if you forgot where you parked and send you automated street sweeping alerts. We think it’s pretty darn awesome. We are, however, rather biased. 😉 (FREE)
    2. Waze: Available for Android, iPhone and Windows Phones, this app utilizes the community knowledge of your fellow commuters. Users share road and traffic data, so you can know about that accident several miles ahead and adjust your route. Woo hoo! No more sitting in traffic! (FREE)
    3. ParkMe: If finding a decent parking space is your biggest concern, then this app can make sure that you can get the spot you want without the frustration of driving around the parking lot for 10 minutes. ParkMe knows the best spots in over 28,000 locations, 1,800 cities and 7 continents. (FREE)
    4. INRIX Traffic: Do you worry about accidents and delays on your way to work or school? This app lets you know where traffic is delayed on your standard route and whether the congestion is caused by an accident or by construction. You can also check out traffic cameras to see the traffic for yourself. (FREE)
    5. iGas Finder HD: As the price of fuel continues to rise, you’ll need to know where to find the best gas prices along your daily routes. It can find the closest gas stations within a 5 to 40 mile radius. You can also bookmark your favorite gas stations to find them more easily no matter where you’re driving. ($0.99)
    6. Trapster: Track speed traps, construction zones, traffic jams, and accidents with this app. It will warn you when you’re driving toward a speed trap so that you can ease on the gas pedal before you get there. (FREE)
    7. Accufuel: This app tracks your fuel efficiency. If you want to maximize your fuel, then the data provided from this app can help you save a lot of money. ($0.99)
    8. Greatest Drive GPS Road and Trip Finder: You don’t always need to know where you’re going. This app helps you find the best roads to take when you’re in an unfamiliar area. You can even “favorite” some of your roads and share them on Facebook! (FREE)


    The Delight of Unintended Use

    One of the neat things about developing a product is seeing the way people actually use it – and now and then, we’re really surprised.

    When we first developed our ‘Find My Car’ feature, the scenario that we had in mind was that of a city driver, parking a few blocks over from their home at night, and not necessarily remembering where they left their car by morning. But the way we’ve seen this feature being used has been fascinating.

    Just last week, a San Francisco-based app user tweeted that the ‘Find My Car’ feature helped her to discover the location of her stolen car – and it’s not the first time we’ve heard that happen…

    A number of weeks ago, another user came out in the morning, saw his car was gone and began calling towing companies. Once he determined that no one had his vehicle, he contacted the police and reported it stolen. Later that afternoon, he remembered about the Metronome and our ‘Find My Car’ feature and opened up his app. Lo and behold, he was able to see four trips taken to different chop shops around the city, plus the final resting place of his car, which unfortunately was now completely gutted. Still, he was grateful to recover his stolen vehicle so quickly and let us know as much. He also told us that his current insurer wanted screenshots of all the trips so they could use them for their investigation (he’s in California where our pay-per-mile insurance isn’t yet available).

    It’s an important lesson for any designer – that there are always exceptions to the rule and how you intend for features to be used, and how they really are used in the end, may surprise you. As we continue to develop new features into the MetroMile app, be sure to keep us aware of the way that you make MetroMile work for you!