Honda Car Maintenance Checklist

Chances are, if you’re a Metromile policyholder, you drive a Honda. How do we know? Since 2017, the top 2 cars that Metromile has sold policies for are the Honda Civic and Honda Accord. Eagle-eyed readers know that we’ve already shared our top tips for car maintenance if you’re a low mileage driver and our guide to Metromile Roadside assistance, so today we’re diving into something special for all you Honda drivers.

Honda SUV overlooking a cliff full of clouds

Did you know that Honda is the largest engine manufacturer in the world? Honda sure knows their way around a car engine! In 2011, Joe Cicero from Maine became the first person to ever to reach 1 million miles on the original engine and transmission (a 1990 Accord!). To celebrate his accomplishment, Honda gave him a parade and a new 2012 Accord. By taking great care of your Honda engine today, you could become the next Joe Cicero! Let’s dive into some of our best car care tips for all you Honda drivers.

How To Keep Your Honda Running Like New

For all Honda models, performing regular maintenance according to the factory-recommended maintenance schedule is the best way to keep your vehicle running in optimal condition. Take care of your Honda now and it will give you miles and miles of worry-free driving in the future.

If you drive a Honda Civic

Maintenance schedules can either be calculated with miles or months, depending on which you reach first. If you’re a consistent commuter, you’ll want to schedule your maintenance around a mileage system; if you don’t drive the car as often, you’ll want to follow the month system.

Here’s a quick list of maintenance items for your new Honda Civic:

  1. Every 7,500 miles/12 months: Get your oil changed
  2. 15,000 miles/12 months: Replace the engine oil filter, inspect front and rear brakes, check parking brake adjustment, and visually inspect elements such as brake hoses, fluids, cooling systems, exhaust systems, etc.
  3. 30,000 miles/24 months: Replace the engine oil filter, replace air cleaner element, inspect front and rear brakes, check parking brake adjustment, replace spark plugs, inspect and adjust drive belts, and inspect valve clearance
  4. 45,000 miles/36 months: Replace the engine oil filter, inspect front and rear brakes, check parking brake adjustment, replace brake fluid, and replace engine coolant
  5. 60,000 miles/48 months: Replace spark plugs, replace the engine oil filter, inspect front and rear brakes, check parking brake adjustment, inspect and adjust drive belts, and replace air cleaner element

If you drive a Honda Accord:

If you take care of it, your Accord can keep going, and going, and going…. Honda recommends a routine service appointment about every 5,000 miles for your Honda Accord. You should also schedule additional special services at other mile intervals as well.

Below is a breakdown of all of the services your Accord needs and when they need to be performed:

  1. Every 5,000 miles: Change oil and filter, rotate tires, inspect brakes, and top off fluid levels
  2. Every 30,000 miles: Replace spark plugs and air filter and inspect and adjust drive belts
  3. Every 45,000 miles: Replace coolant and brake fluid
  4. Every 90,000 miles: Change transmission fluid
It’s important to note that each service appointment should involve an oil change to promote the longevity of your engine.

General Honda Maintenance Checklist

Low oil can have a disastrous effect on your Honda’s engine, so you’ll need to check that level the most often. Following the guidelines below of items to check (but not necessarily change), you can rest assured that you have all of your bases covered:

  • Check the engine oil and coolant levels every time you fill the fuel tank
  • Check the transmission and brake fluid levels about once a month
  • Check your tire pressure every month, since the pressure inside the tire can change when the air temperature outside the car changes
  • Every month, check to make sure all of your lights are working properly

Periodic Maintenance Items By Mileage:

Every 5,000 Miles
  1. Change the engine oil and oil filter
  2. Rotate the tires
  3. Inspect the front and rear brakes
  4. Check all fluid levels and conditions
  5. Inspect the suspension and exhaust system
  6. Check brake lines and hoses, cooling system hoses and connections and fuel line hoses

The following mileage marks are when you should have these items changed, replaced or checked. Do these maintenance items when this mileage shows up on your Honda’s odometer.

30,000 Miles
  1. Inspect valve clearance
  2. Replace spark plugs
  3. Replace air cleaner element
  4. Inspect or replace drive belts
45,000 Miles
  1. Replace engine coolant
  2. Replace brake fluid
60,000 Miles
  1. Replace spark plugs
  2. Inspect or replace drive belts
75,000 Miles
  1. Replace engine coolant
90,000 Miles
  1. Change brake fluid
  2. Replace air cleaner element
  3. Replace spark plugs
  4. Replace drive belts
  5. Change transmission fluid

While it initially may seem like a lot, staying on top of these vehicle maintenance guidelines will keep your Honda in tip-top shape for years to come. Who knows – maybe Honda will even throw a parade in your honor!

Whether you’re a Honda driver or not, this handy maintenance checklist is valuable to any car owner. Want to join the Metromile fam and save hundreds on your car insurance? Click here to grab a free quote. To our Metromile family members, we love and appreciate you every day – you are the reason we do what we do! Refer a friend to Metromile and get $25. Everyone likes a little extra cash in their pocket this holiday season! Be safe out there and see you on the roads.

10 Ways to Save Money in 2019

There’s no better time to initiate good habits than January. Everything feels fresh and new, and you’ve likely already resolved to be a new and improved version of your former self. Maybe you’ve vowed to be more responsible, more organized, or more independent. One route to achieving all those goals and more? Cha-ching.

That’s right: making smarter decisions when it comes to spending can completely transform your personal and professional life. Money definitely isn’t everything…but it sure does help. And feeling totally secure about your finances will help you feel in control in all areas of your life.

Ready to start feeling like a total boss? Here are 10 ways to grow your bank account in 2019:

    1. Set financial goals. Hoping to travel? Buy a new car? Maybe even purchase your first home? Think about what you really, truly want, get excited about it, and then strive for it. Commit to your goal by writing it down or even creating a vision board with pictures and phrases that motivate you — bonus points for displaying it somewhere you can see it every day.

    2. Take stock of what you pay for. Are you really watching anything on cable these days or are you exclusively getting your entertainment via Netflix? Have you actually attended a class at that expensive gym since….last January? If you’re not getting full use out of each of your expenses, consider downgrading or eliminating them completely.

    3. Pack your lunch. Maybe it doesn’t sound as fun as an impromptu afternoon at the Olive Garden (or wherever your coworkers wind up), but it’s unbelievable how much money you can save just by making your own meals at home. Think about it: if you spend $10-$15 (or, let’s be honest — more) five days a week, that’s anywhere from $2,600 – $3,900 a year. Brown bag it instead and save all that cash for something special.

    4. Look for deals. You don’t have to be a compulsive coupon clipper to reap the rewards of available bargains. Websites and apps like RetailMeNot and BradsDeals make it ridiculously easy to comparison shop and find deals on big-ticket items and smaller splurges.

    5. Brew your own coffee. Just like packing your lunch will help you save, skipping the super fancy and overpriced coffee shop latte will spare you tons of wasted dollars. You can even buy a personal french press that doubles as a travel mug to brew your own on-the-go java for pennies.

    6. Set up automatic transfers. Everyone’s eyes widen with possibility when they see their paycheck hit their bank account, but to avoid the temptation of burning through it, set up an automated transfer to your savings account on your paydays. It doesn’t have to be a big amount, but putting a chunk of change out of sight will keep you from spending it.

    7. Couple bad habits with good ones. Everyone deserves to indulge now and then, but if you’re trying to break a bad habit, kill two birds with one stone and pad your savings account while you’re at it. For every dollar you spend on something you consider a “bad habit” purchase (alcohol, junk food, cigarettes, etc.), deposit a dollar directly into your savings account.

    8. Walk whenever you can. In some cases, logging the steps necessary to get to the office takes just as much time as dealing with gridlock traffic or the hassle of public transportation — not to mention it’s great for your health and it’s totally, completely free.

    9. DIY more. Modern technology has made it absurdly easy to pay your way out of every inconvenient task, but taking the time to fix your old appliances, making your own homemade gifts, or putting together your Ikea furniture will save you lots of cash and help you realize how capable you totally are.

    10. Switch to Metromile. Not only will you save money on your car insurance, but you’ll avoid the exorbitant costs of street sweeping tickets, mechanic shop visits, and other money pits. Wanna know how? Check us out now.

Making sound money saving decisions now can set you up for big success in the long run. Try these ten tips and pat yourself on the back for showing 2019 who’s boss.

How Do Low-Mileage Drivers Get Around?

As the go-to experts on pay-per-mile car insurance, Metromile decided it was high time to dig a little deeper into people’s driving habits to uncover just how low-mileage drivers are getting around if and when they’re not commuting behind the wheel. After surveying over 2,400 drivers, Metromile discovered some surprising insights that shed some light on just how people are getting from point A to point B (and C and D and beyond). Check out the findings and see if you can relate to the revelations:

cars at busy intersection in New York City

Low-Mileage Drivers’ Transportation Habits

First of all, when it comes to self-identifying as low-mileage drivers, participants are pretty spot-on.

According to the survey, 67.8% of Americans consider themselves “low-mileage drivers” (defined by researchers as less than 251 miles per month).

That stat isn’t too far off from the truth, which is that more than 70% of Americans between the ages of 18-24 are low-mileage drivers, based on their self-reported monthly mileage. Older drivers tend to get behind the wheel a bit more, but even the age group with the least amount of low-mileage drivers (ages 45-54) counts more low-mileage commuters than high-mileage ones (57.75% vs. 42.25%).

So if so many drivers aren’t driving all that much, how exactly are they getting around?

While respondents cited a variety of transportation modes (walking, biking, scooting, etc.), a lot of people picked rideshares (like Uber and Lyft) as their top pick. And the rideshare love seemed significantly associated with location; Californians, for example, really like to rely on these services, with more than 20% of respondents from the state saying they use them.

Californians are also the most flexible and progressive when it comes to which respondents bounce back and forth between driving their personal vehicles and utilizing alternative transportation methods. While Virginians are deeply committed to their cars (over 70% of respondents from that state said they only use their own autos for commuting — no bikes, buses, or subways for them), Californians weren’t so loyal and liked to jump around from one mode of transportation to another (more than 60% of respondents from that state said they use their own cars in addition to alternative transportation methods).

One big reason drivers — regardless of location — choose to use alternative modes of transportation is convenience.

More than half of respondents ages 18-34 said they like to find other ways to get around because those methods just fit into their lives better and make their day-to-day commutes easier.

But let’s go back to ridesharing for a second. Despite the fact that drivers around the country are definitely dabbling in the services, certain states just aren’t sure how they feel about them.

At first glance, Illinoisans, for example, seem to love ridesharing, since more than 40% of respondents from that state said they do it once a week or more. But while many residents claimed they tool around town in an Uber or Lyft that frequently, many more Illinois drivers said they’re not such heavy users — in fact nearly 70% said they use them less than once a month.

Confusing, yes, but they’re not the only ones feeling unsure about rideshares — Virginians are actually the slowest to adopt the services, with nearly 90% of respondents from that state saying they use it less than once a month (which makes perfect sense given how much we know they love their personal cars).

More Options for Low-Mileage Drivers

All in all, the Metromile survey results are pretty enlightening and offer some unprecedented insight into the habits and preferences of drivers around the country. With technology changing the landscape of life on the road, commuters now have more options for how to move around.

Metromile believes one of those options should be high-quality, affordable insurance coverage for low-mileage drivers, whether those people are hopping in Ubers more often than they’re starting up their own vehicles, or if walking to the office just makes more sense during the work week. If you’re already a Metromile customer, discover all the ways you can make your coverage work for you at metromile.com. And if you’re thinking of making the switch, visit the website or call 1.888.242.5204 to speak to a qualified agent and receive your free quote today.

Metromile in 2018: The Year in Review

It’s hard to believe that 2019 is right around the corner. If you’re anything like us, you’ve still got a to-do list longer than your arm before you can slap up the ol’ OOO reply on your email. All to-dos aside, however, 2018 was a big year for us here at Metromile! With the introduction of our AI crash-testing system, and the announcement of our latest round of funding, we’re proud of all our accomplishments this year. None of them would’ve been possible without the support of our Metromile fam, and for you, we are eternally grateful.

Metromile’s 2018 By the Numbers

Let’s take a look at 2018 by the numbers, shall we? According to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, the average American drives 13,476 miles each year. Metromile customers in major cities drive an average of 6,000 miles each year, less than half of the national average!

In 2018, Metromilers in big cities across the country averaged 5,599 miles. Which city drove the least? Check out our ranking below!

The per-city average miles driven in 2018

  1. Portland, OR – 4,315 miles: Topping our list for the second year in a row, our Portland Metromilers are making us proud. In 2018, they drove 204 fewer miles than in 2017, and 1,405 fewer than in 2016. Keep outdoing yourselves, Portlandians! We’ll be here cheering you on.
  2. Chicago – 4,702 miles: Sliding into second place, Chicago Metromilers drove 1,234 fewer miles in 2018 than in 2017. Well done, Chicagoans!
  3. Seattle/Tacoma – 4,879 miles: Coming in for the bronze medal, Seattle-ites drove 248 fewer miles in 2018 than in 2017 – and almost 2k fewer miles than our LA Metromilers!
  4. Sacramento/Stockton/Modesto – 5,234 miles: The Sacramento metropolitan area is new to the list this year, with a modest(o) 5k miles driven. Nice work!
  5. San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose – 5,923 miles: Our little City by the Bay ekes out a lower ranking this year, driving 131 fewer miles in 2018 than in 2017.
  6. Philadelphia – 5,789 miles: Philly moves up the list this year, with 540 fewer miles driven in 2018. Woo-hoo!
  7. San Diego – 6,612 miles: San Diego took the last spot in 2017, so we’re excited to see that they are moving up our list and drove over 1k fewer miles in 2018!
  8. Los Angeles – 6,869 miles: With a city as large as Los Angeles, it’s no surprise to see it taking the last spot on our list, with the most miles driven in 2018.

The most popular day of the week for Metromilers to drive

Through and through, Metromilers prove that cars are best for weekend use. The most popular day of the week to drive for Metromilers is Friday.

Our low-mileage drivers like to get out and do stuff on the weekends and we love seeing their travels on Instagram. Going somewhere cool soon? Don’t forget to tag us (@metromile) and/or #Metromile.

The most common vehicles that our Metromile fam drives

Raise your hand if you drive a Honda or Toyota. We knew it wasn’t just us.

  1. Honda Civic
  2. Honda Accord
  3. Toyota Corolla
  4. Toyota Camry
  5. Toyota Prius
Interestingly, this is the exact same list as 2017! Metromilers are very consistent. Additionally, the most popular car in 2018 for the top 10 Metromile accounts is the Honda Civic.

Most popular day of the year to drive

The most popular day to drive was November 30th, 2018. However, with every passing Friday, we get closer to surpassing that all-time high!

Metromile Claims, By the Numbers

Some other interesting stats to note. Because who doesn’t love some fun stats? Here at Metromile, we handle thousands of claims every year. Curious what the percentage breakdown is for the different kinds of claims filed in 2018? Don’t worry, we did the math for you.

Percent breakdown of claims handled in 2018

  • Glass Repair: 8.3%
  • Roadside Assistance: 52.4%
  • Stolen Vehicle: 0.7%
  • Traditional Claim: 39.3%

The most common type of claim

If we take roadside/glass repair claims out of the equation, rear-end collisions were the most common type of claim processed by Metromile claims specialists in 2018.

Curious about the performance from past years? Check out our year-end reviews for 2017 and 2016.

2018 has been an amazing year for us here at Metromile, and we are looking forward to offering our customers even more awesome perks in 2019. If you aren’t already part of the Metromile fam, get a quick quote to see how much you could save with pay-per-mile insurance in 2019.
From all of us here at Metromile: happy holidays and see you in the New Year!

How to Handle Accidents with Animals

The last thing an animal lover wants to think about is a car accident involving a creature of any kind. But animal-related accidents happen, and unfortunately, they happen a lot. According to the most recent roadkill statistics, 253,000 of the 6.3 million annual auto accidents in the U.S. involve animals. And while that number may be shocking, it may not even be the half of it: it’s estimated that about 50 percent of collisions between vehicles and large animals go unreported. The vast majority of these accidents involve deer (90 percent), but an appalling amount of vertebrates are run over each and every day — 1 million (that’s one creature every 11.5 seconds).

two people walking on a snowy path with a deer in the foreground

Tips for Avoiding Accidents with Animals

While animal-related accidents are undeniably common, they’re not inevitable. There are a number of ways drivers can take precautions to avoid an unfortunate event:

  • It may sound impossible, but if you see an animal run out in front of your vehicle, try to remain calm. If possible, quickly scan the road and the shoulders ahead of you to get a sense of where you can direct your car.
  • Believe it or not, swerving suddenly is not the best plan of action. Rather than suddenly steering in one direction, attempt to slow down as much as possible while keeping an eye on your rearview mirror to make sure no one is directly behind you and might risk crashing into your vehicle. However, be careful not to slam on your breaks as this can cause skidding.
  • If you see the animal approaching from the right side of the road, steering in that direction and attempting to go behind the creature might encourage it to cross faster.
  • If there’s no oncoming traffic, flash your high beams to alert the animal (this may also help illuminate some creatures’ reflective eyes). Avoid keeping the lights on since the steady brightness can cause deer to stop in their tracks. Honking your horn may also help drive the animal out of the way and/or alert other drivers to stop or slow down.
  • If you’re traveling in areas with a lot of wildlife, stay extra vigilant, especially around dawn and dusk when many animals tend to be active.

What To Do If You Hit An Animal While Driving

Even if you take all the proper steps to avoid a collision, it’s impossible to completely guarantee against an animal-related accident. If you do have the misfortune of hitting an animal with your vehicle, it’s crucial to know how to proceed post-accident.

The legal stuff

While the United Kingdom has an overarching law that requires drivers to report accidents involving certain animals like dogs, goats, horses, etc., the U.S. rules vary by state. However, most states require drivers to pull over if they hit a domestic animal, and immediately contact the appropriate state or local authority (if you’re driving on a busy road or highway, however, where it might be dangerous to stop, keep moving and call the police to report the accident). Check the driver’s handbook for your state to know all the legal requirements.

The safety stuff

Large animals:
  • Animals like a deer or elk have the potential to do major damage to your vehicle, and in some cases, you and your passengers. If there’s no time to slow down or avoid impact, it’s important that you lower your body down in the driver’s seat so you’re maximally protected by the dashboard in case the animal shatters your windshield.
  • Large animals tend to roll over a vehicle if they’re hit and crush the center of the roof and windshield — to minimize your risk of injury, lean toward your door, not the center of the car.
  • If you do hit a large animal, pull over immediately and stay in your vehicle — while your instinct may be to help the injured creature, you could put yourself in serious danger by coming close. Put on your emergency flashers and call for help ASAP.
Injured animals:
  • Even house pets can act in unpredictable ways when hurt. If possible place a blanket or jacket around domestic animals but do not approach if they seem aggressive or in serious distress. Call the police (and if you can see contact information on their collar, call their owner immediately).
  • Wait with the animal until authorities arrive.
  • Once the animal has been helped, you may choose to file a police report — because most states require pet owners to keep their pets under control, you may be able to receive compensation for vehicle damages.

The car insurance stuff

Immediately report the accident to your car insurance company — if you have comprehensive coverage, your plan may compensate for the cost of damages. However, if the cost doesn’t exceed your deductible, you may be responsible for the full cost of repairs.

What About Metromile Customers?

Here’s where comprehensive coverage really comes in handy. This is the type of plan that will be a big help if your car is stolen or damaged from issues like natural disasters, theft, and yes, animal-related incidents. It’s up to you to choose a deductible amount — that’s the out-of-pocket cost you agree to pay before coverage is afforded.

A lot of people make the mistake of confusing comprehensive coverage with collision coverage. Both types of plans insure your car, but each covers different events. Collision covers car accidents, and comprehensive covers events out of your control. Think of it like this: “Collision” means colliding with something else (other than animals), while “comprehensive” basically covers all other events. Animal-related accidents are covered by comprehensive (and not collision) because these accidents are considered out of your control.

Still Have Questions?

While no one likes to think about the prospect of hitting an animal, understanding the ways to prevent and react are an important part of driving safe. Still have questions? Whether you’re already a Metromile customer or considering making the switch, the Metromile Help Center is a great resource for getting answers. And if your concern isn’t addressed, check out the rest of the site or call today to talk with a qualified agent and/or get a free personalized quote.

Driving at Night: A Primer

With the days getting darker earlier and the nights getting longer, the winter can feel like a major slog. Commuting to work before the sun wakes up and commuting home after its gone to bed can feel like you’ll never see daylight again. Additionally, driving when it’s dark outside is the most notoriously dangerous time to drive. Shorter days, fatigue, compromised night vision, rush hour and impaired drivers all contribute to making driving at night more dangerous than any other time of day.

Cars waiting at light at night in Chicago

How to Drive Safely At Night

Did you know that the risk of a fatal crash is three times greater at night, according to National Safety Council research? Daylight Saving Time has officially thrown us into the darkest days of the year, and a lot of us are probably spending more hours on the road in the dark. Here at Metromile, we’re committed to the safety of all of our customers, which is why we’re sharing our best tips for driving at night.

But First: Some Scary Stats

We know that night driving increases crash risk for all drivers, but did you know that the risk is even higher for young inexperienced drivers? Here’s a scary stat: only 14 percent of the miles driven by 16- to 17-year-old drivers occur between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m., yet this time period accounts for 32 percent of fatal crashes in this age group. Let that sink in for a minute.

Another disturbing stat: nationwide, 49% of fatal crashes happen at night. Not only that, but nighttime crashes have a fatality rate (per mile of travel) about three times as high as daytime hours. Of people killed at night, roughly two-thirds aren’t wearing seatbelts. Just to put that in perspective, during the day, the percentage of unrestrained fatalities tends to be under half.

Reduced Visibility

When was the last time you felt you could see really well in the dark? Unlike most animals, humans naturally do not have great night vision, so driving at night is inherently much riskier. Let’s explore some of the major risk factors for night driving and some tips on how to overcome the risk of driving at night.

Major Risk Factors

Some of the major risk factors for driving at night include:

  • Reduced depth perception
  • Reduced color recognition
  • Compromised peripheral vision
  • Temporary blindness caused by the glare of headlights from an oncoming vehicle
Tips to Overcome Risk

Here are a few things you can do to combat these risk factors:

  • Aim your headlights correctly, and make sure they’re clean and free from haze
  • Dim your dashboard brightness to reduce the contrast between dark and light, which can be difficult for your eye to process
  • Avert your gaze from oncoming headlights
  • If you wear glasses, make sure they’re anti-reflective to reduce glare on the road
  • Clean both the inside and outside of the windshield to eliminate streaks and haziness
  • Drive slower to compensate for limited visibility and reduced stopping time

Fatigue and Rush Hour

The hours between 4pm and 7pm are the most dangerous times to be on the road. Couple that with the fact that the national average time of sunset is around 4:30pm during the winter months and you have a recipe for disaster. Driving in the dark also triggers fatigue in many people. With tired drivers rushing to get home after dark, driving during winter rush hour is a majorly scary undertaking.

Major Risk Factors

Some of the major risk factors for driving during winter rush hour include:

  • Drivers eager to get home who may be less cautious and more aggressive
  • Crowded roadways
  • Driving in the dark, which may cause drowsiness and fatigue in both you and other drivers on the road
Tips to Overcome Risk

Here are a few things you can do to combat these risk factors:

  • Carefully monitor your own fatigue levels, and know when you need to pull over to a safe rest area
  • Leaving early (preferably before dusk) will help you stay awake, see better, and avoid crowded roadways
  • Practice defensive driving and be vigilant for other drivers’ mistakes
  • Be courteous to other drivers on the road and only use your high beams when there’s no one driving towards you or in front of you

Distracted Drivers

After a tiring day at the office, the last thing you should be doing on the drive home is texting, ‘gramming, or dining in your car. Distracted driving is a leading cause of car crashes, and distracted driving at night can be even more deadly.

Major Risk Factors

Some of the major risk factors for driving while distracted in the dark include:

  • Slower reaction times
  • Disability glare from your phone screen (i.e. the glare from your lit phone screen causes light scatter in the eyes, which in turn reduces the contrast of roadway objects)
  • Not practicing defensive driving to watch for other drivers’ mistakes
  • Not paying attention to pedestrians or other obstacles in the roadway
Tips to Overcome Risk

Here are a few things you can do to combat these risk factors:

  • Never, ever text and drive (or use social media, or check email… you catch our drift)
  • Same goes for eating while driving and talking on the phone
  • Switch your phone to auto-reply or do not disturb while you’re driving so you’re not tempted to check your notifications
  • Watch for other distracted drivers and steer clear – notify the authorities if they appear to be a danger to others on the road

Driving Under the Influence

‘Tis the season for endless holiday parties which also include open bars and free-flowing alcoholic beverages. If you’re relying on a car to transport you home after the party, always plan out a designated driver ahead of time. If you’re the one driving home, abstain from drinking at the party to ensure you and your passengers all make it home safely. There are more drunk drivers on the road at night, which increases the risk of accidents. In fact, the NSC indicates weekend nights are the worst time of the week for fatal accidents.

Major Risk Factors

Some of the major risk factors for driving while under the influence include:

  • Slower reaction times
  • Less inhibition while driving which can lead to riskier behavior
  • Impaired judgment, concentration, comprehension, coordination, and visual acuity
  • Injuring or killing yourself or others
Tips to Overcome Risk

Here are a few things you can do to combat these risk factors:

  • Never get behind the wheel while intoxicated (yes, this includes being buzzed)
  • Always designate a DD before imbibing or take another form of transportation home
  • Abstain from drinking or becoming intoxicated if you are planning on driving
  • Be vigilant for other drivers who are driving under the influence, and if you spot one, be sure to move out of the way of harm and dial 911

TL;DR

Whew, that was a lot of info. If you didn’t have time to read the full article, here’s the reader’s digest and our best tips for driving at night.

Top 17 Tips for Driving at Night

  1. Aim your headlights correctly, and make sure they’re clean and free from haze
  2. Dim your dashboard brightness to reduce the contrast between dark and light, which can be difficult for your eye to process
  3. Avert your gaze from oncoming headlights
  4. If you wear glasses, make sure they’re anti-reflective to reduce glare on the road
  5. Clean both the inside and outside of the windshield to eliminate streaks and haziness
  6. Drive slower to compensate for limited visibility and reduced stopping time
  7. Carefully monitor your own fatigue levels, and know when you need to pull over to a safe rest area
  8. Leave early (preferably before dusk) to help you stay awake, see better, and avoid crowded roadways
  9. Practice defensive driving and be vigilant for other drivers’ mistakes
  10. Be courteous to other drivers on the road and only use your high beams when there’s no one driving towards you or in front of you
  11. Never, ever text and drive (or use social media, or check email… you catch our drift) – the same goes for eating while driving and talking on the phone
  12. Switch your phone to auto-reply or do not disturb while you’re driving so you’re not tempted to check your notifications
  13. Watch for other distracted drivers and steer clear – notify the authorities if they appear to be a danger to others on the road
  14. Never get behind the wheel while intoxicated (yes, this includes being buzzed)
  15. Always designate a DD before imbibing or take another form of transportation home
  16. Abstain from drinking or becoming intoxicated if you are planning on driving
  17. Be vigilant for other drivers who are driving under the influence, and if you spot one, be sure to move out of the way of harm and dial 911

Always remember that driving is a privilege that should not be taken lightly. At this time of year, we’re spending more time than usual driving in the dark, and we hope that this primer refreshes our beloved Metromile fam with some best practices for driving at night.

Still Have Questions?

No worries, we have the answers. Check out our FAQ page in the Metromile Help Center to see if there’s already an answer to your inquiry. And if your question isn’t answered there, you can get direct, customized guidance from one of Metromile’s licensed agents by calling 1.888.242.5204 to talk it out.

If you haven’t joined the Metromile fam yet, what are you waiting for? Start the New Year right by saving some cash! Grab a free quote today. As always, be safe out there and see you on the roads.

What To Do If Your Car Is Stolen

There are the minor inconveniences that make a morning tough — insufficient caffeine consumption, overflowing inbox, etc. — and then there are the major, stomach-churning situations that derail more than just your day. A prime example? Walking out to your car, only to find an empty spot.

Vehicle theft sucks, and unfortunately, it’s on the rise: As Metromile reported in June, 5.9 billion dollars were lost to motor vehicle theft in 2016, according to the FBI. That equates to 765,484 total vehicle thefts in the U.S., 60,000 of which happened in the L.A. area alone. And while recovering a stolen vehicle is possible, it only happens 42% of the time.

The silver lining here (seriously, there is one) is that while having your car stolen is a violating, unpleasant experience, knowing what to do when it happens and how to avoid it in the first place can significantly cut down on the emotional turmoil and post-theft logistical headaches.

Avoiding Car Theft In The First Place

The best strategy for sidestepping any theft-related unpleasantness is, of course, to avoid the theft altogether. And while you can’t guarantee a theft-proof future for your vehicle, you can take important steps to minimize the risk.

  • If you’re on the market for a car, it’s worth knowing which makes and models are most likely to be stolen. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s 2017 Hot Wheels Report, the 1998 Honda Civic, 1997 Honda Accord, and 2006 Ford Pickup are the three most likely to be taken. Check out the top 10 list to see which vehicles you might want to avoid if you can help it.
  • This may seem obvious, but don’t — seriously, don’t — leave your car running while you hop out for a quick errand. It takes a split second for a thief to take advantage of an easy situation, so always turn your car off and always take the keys with you (and lock up!).
  • Never leave personal belongings on the seat or in plain sight.
  • Try your best to always park in well-lit, populated areas.
  • Consider investing in an anti-theft device — in some states, Metromile offers a discount for having an anti-theft or recovery device installed.
  • If that’s not enough of a reason for you to switch to Metromile, consider this: the Smart Driving app and the Pulse device helps customers track down their vehicles in the unfortunate event that their car is stolen.

What To Do If Your Car Is Stolen

The most important thing you can do if your car is stolen is to act quickly — the longer you wait to take action, the less likely it is that your car will ever find its way back to you. Here’s your to-do list:

  1. Contact the police right away. You won’t be able to file an insurance claim until you file a police report, so talk to law enforcement ASAP. Be prepared to share some key info, including the make, model, year, and color of your car, the license plate number, any distinctive features, and the vehicle identification number (VIN).
  2. Contact your insurance company. You’ll also want to do this quickly — preferably within 24 hours of the theft. Depending on the type of coverage you have, you may be able to receive payment for your stolen vehicle. But even if you don’t have comprehensive coverage, you’ll need to notify your carrier so that you’re protected in case the thieves hurt someone or damage something with your vehicle.
  3. Contact the DMV — since the agency keeps a database of stolen vehicles, they may be helpful in the search.

The Metromile Customer Advantage: Metromile Car Recovery

While it’s tough to consider anyone who’s experienced car theft “lucky,” Metromile customers who are victims of the crime do have a unique advantage. The Metromile Pulse device can actually help track a car’s location so that it’s visible on the Metromile app.

This isn’t just a theoretical tool — the Pulse has been used to recover stolen cars before! If you’re a Metromile customer and your car is stolen, it’s still imperative that you follow the proper protocol and report the theft to the appropriate parties, but know that you may have helpful information on your side.

If The Car Is Gone For Good, Are You Covered?

No one wants to face the fact that their property may just be lost for good, but if enough time has passed and it looks like your car is long gone, never to return, it’s time to take stock of your losses.

The only form of insurance that totally reimburses the cost of a stolen car is comprehensive coverage — this is the type of plan that will also cover your vehicle in the case of a natural disaster, or a fluke accident, like a fallen tree.

So what happens if you don’t have comprehensive coverage? If you’re dealing with a stolen car, then you have a “total loss,” meaning the lost value, or repair cost of your vehicle exceeds its insured value. Metromile customers who experience a total loss will still need to have insurance to cover a rental car, but won’t be charged for any mileage while shopping for a replacement vehicle.

As for the items that were taken along with your stolen car, there’s good news and bad news. First, the bad: car insurance doesn’t typically cover the cost of stolen personal items. However, if you have renter’s or homeowner’s insurance, you may be able to get some help covering the costs.

What To Do If/When You Get Your Car Back

So you got your car back — congrats! Now what? Do a happy dance and then take a look around to see if any personal items were stolen. It’s also a good idea to assess any damage to the interior or exterior and check with your insurance provider to see what is/isn’t covered under your plan.

Still Have Questions?

No worries, we have the answers. Check out our FAQ page in the Metromile Help Center to see if there’s already an answer to your inquiry. And if your question isn’t answered there, you can get direct, customized guidance from one of Metromile’s licensed agents by calling 1.888.242.5204 to talk it out.

Whether you’re freaked out by the prospect of a stolen car or trying to recover from a theft, you’ll want to work with an insurance company that has your back in every situation. If you’re thinking about making the switch, call 1.888.242.5204 or visit https://www.metromile.com today for a free quote.

Extreme Weather: Your Guide to Surviving Driving In It

As the seasons change from fall to winter, drivers are likely to encounter any number of obstacles that increase the odds of an accident. In fact, of the average 5,891,000 vehicle crashes each year, approximately 21 percent (almost 1,235,000) are weather-related. From rain and wind to ice, hail, snow, and sleet, extreme weather events inevitably impact road safety.

white vehicle near tall tree at cloudy sky during daytime

Extreme Weather – How to Survive Driving In It

So what’s a commuter to do when driving from point A to point B is the only option? If you have to traverse the roads in treacherous circumstances, it’s important to know how best to navigate sticky situations. Here are Metromile’s best tips for traveling in tricky weather conditions (and if an unfortunate event does occur, make sure you know how to take advantage of Metromile’s roadside assistance program):

Wildfires

If you or someone you know lives in California, then you were undoubtedly well aware of the devastating wildfires that tore through the state earlier this year. But whether the cause is lightning, arson, drought, or climate change, fires can occur anywhere, any time, and can spread far and wide in a second.

So what are you supposed to do if a wildfire suddenly threatens your area? Because the disastrous effects spread so quickly, it’s critical to be prepared. Consider signing up for your community’s warning system so you’ll receive text alerts in case of emergency. Get to know your community’s evacuation plan, and have several possible exit routes in mind.

The most important thing to do in the event of a wildfire, of course, is to evacuate immediately. But jumping in your vehicle amid unpredictable flames can clearly be a scary prospect. According to experts, the most important factor in survival is to leave early — don’t debate your decision to evacuate, just get on the road. Because a blaze can “leapfrog” or “hopscotch” across the ground, there are no guarantees that a car can outrun flames. Streets and highways can become blocked in a matter of seconds, and traffic and visibility can become increasingly worse. Don’t wait until the last minute, and just go.

  • As you drive, roll up your windows, close the air vents, and turn on the AC to minimize smoke inhalation and irritation.
  • Take precaution and drive slowly with your headlights and hazards on, as the air quality may compromise visibility.
  • Experts recommend covering yourself with dry fabric, preferably wool, if possible, to protect your skin.
  • If you see flames approaching as you drive, seek out a parking spot that’s free of debris, and try to find a barrier like a concrete wall to block the fire.
  • Most importantly, do everything you can to remain calm, and don’t, under any circumstances, exit the vehicle.

Flash floods

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, floods are the most widespread and common weather-related natural disasters. Heavy rains, intense ocean waves, melted slow, or dam or levee breaks can cause sudden overflowing surges of water anywhere in the world.

While flash floods can occur spontaneously, the National Weather Service (NWS) issues watches and warnings, intended to give local residents notice that conditions are either favoring a flash flood, or one is imminent. Take heed of these announcements, and evacuate ASAP if necessary.

If you’re behind the wheel while a flash flood is occurring, NWS has a simple but potentially life-saving adage to remember: “turn around don’t drown.” More than half of flood-related drownings occur when a car is driven into hazardous flood water. Rushing water is far more powerful and forceful than many people realize — even just six inches of swiftly moving water can knock a person down, 12 inches can carry away a small car, and two feet can sweep away most vehicles.

  • Unlike wildfires, when it’s safest to stay in your vehicle, flash flooding may necessitate a quick exit. If you’re stuck on a road and water levels are rising fast, get out of the car as fast as you can and move to a higher elevation.
  • Avoid driving through water that an electrical or power line has fallen into, and avoid using your phone unless you have to report severe injuries.
  • As you drive, be extra vigilant of objects traveling downstream that could hit your vehicle.
  • If your brakes become too wet to stop your vehicle, you can try to dry them by gently applying pressure on the brake pedal with your left foot while maintaining speed with your right, but evacuate your vehicle immediately if conditions become too rough.

Earthquakes

Earthquakes are another natural disaster that can occur suddenly, almost anywhere, though they are more likely to occur over fault lines. If you live in an area that’s more likely to be struck by an earthquake, preparation is again key, so having a few escape routes and emergency protocols is essential.

That said, driving during an earthquake is a unique experience because the shake may not be felt from a moving vehicle, and there may not be any visible clues as to what’s going on. The only indication some drivers get during a tremor is that they lose control of their vehicles for no apparent reason.

  • The best thing a driver can do in that situation is to slow down until it’s safe to pull over, as far from trees, power lines, bridges, buildings, or overpasses, as possible.
  • Stay in the vehicle until the quake is over, and keep your seatbelt secured. It’s best to avoid using your telephone and instead tune into the radio for emergency broadcasting updates.
  • Once it’s safe to start driving again, pay extra attention to the potentially damaged road and keep an eye out for stalled vehicles and/or dangerous damage.

Tornadoes

According to FEMA, tornadoes are considered nature’s most violent storms, and can cause widespread devastation and fatalities in a matter of seconds. Every state in the country is at some risk of a tornado, though certain states, like Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska, are more prone to them. Tornadoes can strike quickly, with little or no warning, so preparation is key. Keep an eye out for watches and warnings and know the warning signs:

  • A dark, often greenish sky
  • Large hail
  • A large, low cloud that may be rotating
  • A loud roar that may sound like a freight train

If you receive an alert or you spot any of the signs above, be prepared to take shelter. And if you’re already in your car, get out immediately and stay as low to the ground as possible. It’s best to take refuge in a sturdy building, but if there’s no shelter nearby, get far away from your car and find a ditch or other low area where you can lay down on your front side and cover the back of your head. The only situation in which it’s recommended that you stay in your vehicle is if there’s no lower ground than the road you’re already on; in that case, fasten your seatbelt and lower your head below the windows, covering your head with your hands or a blanket.

Hurricanes

Hurricanes typically occur in the Southwest U.S. and the Pacific Coast where heavy rains and floods are possible. These tropical cyclones can cause catastrophic damage with wind speeds exceeding 155 miles per hour and can cause torrential rain, leading to potentially fatal flooding.

  • People who live in areas prone to hurricanes are advised to have a wind-safe room in their homes and to evacuate if directed to do so by local authorities.
  • If you’re on the road when a hurricane hits, stay in your car and seek shelter in a parking garage if you can.
  • Avoid driving through water and keep an eye out for fallen wires and other potential hazards.
  • If your car hydroplanes (starts traveling on the surface of the standing water instead of the road), release the gas slowly and steer straight until your tires are back on the road; don’t slam the brakes or turn the steering wheel — wait until you’ve regained traction before lightly tapping the brakes.

Heavy Rain/Lightning and Thunderstorms

According to the Department of Transportation, nearly half of weather-related crashes occur during rainfall. The best way to avoid a rainy day accident, is, of course, to avoid driving in the rain altogether. But if you absolutely can’t avoid a heavy rain commute, follow these tips:

  • Plan ahead and if possible, pick a route that’s at a higher elevation and less likely to flood.
  • Maintain a clear windshield by cleaning out dead leaves and other debris on a regular basis.
  • Use your headlights, but avoid turning on the high beams — the extra bright light can reflect off the rain and shine right into your eyes.
  • Keep more distance than usual between you and the vehicle ahead.
  • Never use cruise control when driving in heavy rain, as it can cause you to lose control of the vehicle.
  • In the event that your car hydroplanes (i.e. begins to ride on top of the standing water instead of the road surface), immediately take your foot off the gas, but don’t stomp on the brakes. Instead, turn your steering wheel gently in the direction that your car is traveling to help your tires realign, and when you reconnect with the road, pull over and make sure you’re feeling calm and safe enough to keep going.

Black Ice

If you live in or often drive through cold climates, then you may be familiar with black ice, a glaze that forms on the surface of roads due to a light freezing rain or melting/refreezing of snow or rain. The name is a bit of a misnomer since the ice isn’t black, but clear, making it almost invisible. It often forms at night or early in the morning, and is more likely to form on parts of the road that are less traveled on and/or don’t get much sunlight. Though it’s mostly transparent, you can locate black ice in the right lighting conditions if you know what to look for: very shiny, smooth, sheets.

If you’ll be driving in areas prone to black ice, it’s a good idea to practice driving on slippery surfaces like ice in a safe surrounding. In a controlled, safe setting, this kind of practice can prepare you for how to react in an emergency black ice encounter.

  • If you do hit black ice, experts generally recommend that you stay calm and just keep going straight — don’t hit the brakes.
  • If you start to veer to the left or right, gently turn your steering wheel in that direction.
  • Take your foot off the gas pedal and head toward an area that has more traction (like snow or sand).
  • If your car starts to skid, stay calm. If you have anti-lock braking system (ABS), put your foot on the brake with firm pressure and allow the car to pump your brakes for you. If you don’t have ABS, gently pump the brakes yourself. In either case, gently steer in the direction you want to go.

Snow/Blizzard

The best way to prepare for any situation — weather-related or otherwise — is to have an emergency kit in your car that includes essentials like a flashlight, jumper cables, warning flares, and more. Once you’re on the road, if snow starts to fall, drive slowly and increase the distance between you and the vehicle ahead. You’ll also want to be gentle with your brake pedal and don’t use cruise control. If you’re going up hills, avoid tire spinning by gaining momentum before you ascend and then slowing down before you reach the top.

If you find yourself driving through a whiteout, now’s the time to slow way, way down. Your visibility will be severely compromised, so the slower you go, the better. It’s also essential to make your vehicle as visible as possible, so turn on all your headlights and communicate with hand gestures if you can. The best option is to stop your car and wait until the whiteout ends. Just remember to turn on your hazard lights, and if you’re running your car (just for 10 minutes at a time every hour to keep heat), crack the window to avoid a dangerous buildup of carbon monoxide.

Have Questions About Insurance Coverage?

Hopefully, you’re now feeling more confident on the road, but if you want to feel more confident in your car insurance company, it’s time to talk with a Metromile agent. If you’re already a customer, one of Metromile’s qualified specialists can help you figure out the best coverage plan for you. And if you’re still debating which carrier is right for you, call 1.888.242.5204 or visit Metromile.com today to get a free quote.

Everything You Need to Know About the Metromile App

Here at Metromile, we’re more than just car insurance; we have made it our mission to make owning a car easier than ever before. Did you know that in addition to all of our awesome coverage such as Comprehensive, PIP/MedPay, Property Damage, and Uninsured/Underinsured, you also get unlimited access to our smart driving app? The Metromile app is packed full of useful features – you can file a claim, view your proof of insurance card, make changes to your policy, call for roadside assistance, and more!

If you were today years old when you found out we have an app or already use it on the reg, there are always new and useful things to discover. Let’s explore the different features and maybe you’ll learn something new!

Everything You Need to Know About the Metromile App

Insurance Features

First up, let’s explore the insurance features of the app and how you can access each of them.

  1. Proof of Insurance
    Your Proof of Insurance card is what you need to display when you get into an accident, get pulled over by a police officer, and when you go into the DMV to register your vehicle. It is required by law to carry proof of insurance in the vehicle you are driving.

    How to Access in the App:

    Navigate to the bottom menu and tap on the ‘Insurance’ icon. Your Proof of Insurance document is in the menu underneath the ‘Start a New Claim’ menu. Tap on ‘Proof of Insurance’ to access your up-to-date Proof of Insurance documents.

  2. File a Claim
    You can easily handle filing a claim directly from the Metromile smart driving app – praise be! Report an accident, file for glass repair, and call for roadside assistance, all without opening a browser.

    How to Access in the App:

    Navigate to the bottom menu and tap on the ‘Insurance’ icon. On the top navigation menu, tap what kind of claim it is – roadside assistance, glass repair, or an accident. Follow the prompts on the screen, which will walk you through the appropriate questions.

  3. Make Changes to Your Policy
    Did you know that you can make changes to your policy from the smart driving app? Such a handy feature! Edit your coverage and add or remove drivers directly through the app – no phone call required. Note: you can make multiple updates, but you’ll only be able to submit changes once per day.

    How to Access in the App:

    Navigate to the bottom menu and tap on the ‘Insurance’ icon. Once you’re on the ‘Insurance’ page, tap on ‘Edit Policy’ in the center menu (fourth option down). For security reasons, the app will have you log into your account again. Once you’re logged in, you’ll be able to see your Metromile dashboard. Tap the three horizontal lines in the upper left-hand corner of the screen and navigate to ‘Policy.’ Scroll down the page and see the changes you’re able to make, such as adding or editing drivers, adding or editing vehicles, adding or editing lienholders, and editing the garaging and mailing addresses.

  4. Roadside Assistance
    Calling for roadside assistance is now as easy as firing up the Metromile smart driving app! You can request a tow, call for assistance changing a flat tire, or request a battery jump and our Metromile roadside service team will be there to assist you every step of the way.

    How to Access in the App:

    Navigate to the bottom menu and tap on the ‘Insurance’ icon. On the top navigation menu, tap ‘Roadside Assistance.’ Follow the prompts on the screen, which will walk you through the appropriate questions to figure out exactly what your needs are. Then sit tight and our Metromile team will dispatch a service technician to help you out.

Billing Features

Another great feature of the Metromile app is the ability to view your monthly charges and keep up-to-date on what your current bill is shaping up to be. This allows you to be strategic in planning your trips and puts you in control of your monthly bill. The app can even tell you how much certain trips cost in fuel! Pretty neat, huh?

  • How to Access in the App
    Handle all your billing needs directly from the Metromile smart driving app by navigating to the ‘Billing’ icon in the bottom menu. By tapping on the icon, the app will open your billing history and include your current monthly charges. To see the cost in fuel, navigate to the ‘Trips’ icon in the bottom menu. Then tap a particular trip and scroll to the bottom of the page. The miles driven, time driving, fuel cost, and estimated MPG will all be displayed. To update your billing information, tap the cog icon in the upper left-hand corner of the screen and navigate to ‘Payment Method.’
Car Features

As a (free!) bonus to all of our Metromile customers who use the smart driving app, we provide car features, such as a vehicle locator (very handy if your car is towed or stolen), street sweeping alerts, a check engine light decoder, and trip tracking and details.

  1. Vehicle Locator
    The vehicle locator feature is on the overview page when you first open the Metromile smart driving app. On the overview page, there is a map with a pin placed where your car is parked. The pin also displays the fuel level in the tank, so you know when it’s time for a fill-up!
  2. Street Sweeping Alerts
    If your car is parked in a street sweeping location, the Metromile app will let you know. Be sure to go into the Settings on your phone and turn on notifications from Metromile – we won’t spam you, we promise! We’ll only notify you if your car is in danger of getting a ticket or towed for being parked in a street sweeping zone. Note that the street sweeping alerts are currently available in the following select cities: Chicago, Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco.
  3. Check Engine Light Decoder
    Save yourself an arm and a leg at the car repair shop by getting a free check engine light reading with the Metromile smart driving app! If your check engine light pops on, the Metromile app will decode it and let you know what the problem is. To view in the app, navigate to the ‘Overview’ tab and scroll to the bottom. Once you know what the issue is, you’ll be able to do your own research on the problem and find a solution, rather than relying on the mercy of the repair shop.
  4. Trip Tracking and Details
    If you’re someone who keeps a close watch on the miles you drive, the trip tracking feature in the Metromile smart driving app will be your new best friend. To see all past trips, navigate to the ‘Trips’ icon in the bottom menu. Tap on a trip to view your route taken, miles driven, time driving, fuel cost, and estimated MPG. We totally geek out on this stuff, and we bet as a Metromile customer, you do too!

Still Have Questions?

No worries, we have the answers. Check out our FAQ page in the Metromile Help Center to see if there’s already an answer to your inquiry. Some of our top FAQs answered below:

Metromile App FAQs
    1. Where can I download the app?
    To download the Metromile app, visit the App Store (iOS users) or Google Play (Android users).
    2. Do I need the app to have Metromile insurance?
    No way, Jose! The Metromile smart driving app is simply a perk that we provide to all our customers at no extra charge. No hard feelings if you don’t want to use it or it’s cluttering up your phone – we’ll always be here in case you change your mind.
    3. Do I need Metromile insurance in order to have the app?
    Yes, the Metromile smart driving app is for Metromile customers only. You (or someone in your family) must be a Metromile customer to use the app.Read to make the switch? Get a quote here.

Now that you’ve seen how great the Metromile app is, become a Metromile customer today by grabbing a free quote! If you’re already a Metromile customer and haven’t downloaded the app yet, what are you waiting for? It’s free! As always, 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

How to Navigate Thanksgiving Traffic Like a Boss

Thanksgiving brings to mind family, friends, turkey, potatoes, and thanks-giving — of course. But, it can also bring Thanksgiving traffic to mind. Millions of people travel for the holidays and a majority of them travel by car. In fact, last year nearly 51 million Americans contributed to road congestion over the Thanksgiving holiday (a 3.3% increase over the previous year).

The Thanksgiving Traffic Forecast 2018?

Inrix predicts your time on the road could increase by as much as 4X, with 2.5 million more people opting to commute by car for the holiday. That’s 4.8% more people on the roads, for a total of 54.3 million drivers – all with the common goal of gobbling till they wobble.

With all those people on the road, safety is a major concern. While you may be used to cruising around your neighborhood on the daily, adding holiday travelers to the mix is bound to result in much more congestion, traffic, and errors. Luckily, Google, mapped Thanksgiving across the country to help drivers understand when Thanksgiving traffic is worse than normal (i.e. when to stay off the roads).

When To Stay Off The Roads

  1. Don’t even think of hitting the road between 3-4pm on November 21st, unless you enjoy slowly creeping down the highway as a glacial speed.
  2. Trying to hit the stores Friday morning for the Black Friday sales? You should be fine- Black Friday traffic is usually the same as any other Friday, just prepare yourself for that parking lot madness.
  3. Heading home Sunday? So is everyone else! Polarizing times seem to be better; so shoot for early morning or later in the evening.

Overall, the best days to travel will be Thanksgiving Day itself, Friday, or Saturday. Drivers, flyers, and alternative transit users should all expect travel delays on Sunday. While we know avoiding the traffic altogether is the safest option, we also know that holiday travel is usually unavoidable. So, if you can’t beat them, you’ll have to join the masses on the roads.

Tips For Navigating Thanksgiving Traffic Like a Boss

  1. Avoid the busiest travel days: This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s often times easier said than done. The busiest travel days are the Friday before Thanksgiving, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Sunday following Thanksgiving.
  2. The early driver catches the worm: Leave early. Taking data from past holidays, Google has found that leaving by 6 a.m. on Sunday is your best bet. From there on out traffic will only get worse. Headed home? – Leave early; Friday is the best time to head home Thanksgiving traffic free.
  3. When in doubt, Podcast it out: Be prepared for traffic anyways and have a playlist, audiobook or Podcast ready to entertain you while you wait it out. Having something to listen to will keep you calm so you show up to Thanksgiving refreshed not stressed.
  4. Be courteous: Everyone is pretty much on the road for the same reason, to get somewhere to eat and celebrate with loved ones. We could all use a little extra kindness here and there and making the extra effort to be polite to others on the road can make a huge difference.
  5. Please be safe out there, Metromilers: Remember to keep your seatbelts fastened and all your limbs inside the vehicle at all times. Avoid distractions and use a portable navigation system if possible. Be sure to drive at the speed limit and leave that road rage at home for the holiday, no one likes a Scrooge at Thanksgiving.

  6. Be thankful: Traffic is definitely a nuisance and sometimes it’s easier to complain and focus on the negative. But, always remember that the traffic could be worse, or you could not be going to spend the holidays with loved ones. Being thankful for what you have and taking every day one step at a time, and every traffic jam one mile at a time can make that stop-and-go freeway drive that much more bearable.

So this Thanksgiving just remember, planning ahead and being prepared for congestion is the best way to avoid the stress that that traffic can cause. Team Metromile is wishing all you road trippers and commuters a wonderful Thanksgiving. If you do have some big holiday road trips in the future, you are in luck if you are a Metromile pay-per-mile car insurance customer. We have a daily mileage cap so you won’t be charged for over a 250 miles a day (150 in certain states), but still will be totally covered all the way to grandma’s house!