6 Important Tips for Driving Safely

June is National Safety Month, and here at Metromile, we want to make sure our customers drive as safely as possible. Here are some important safe driving tips to keep you and your precious cargo safe while traveling on the road.

safe_driving_tips

  1. Focus on driving. Don’t try to multitask while you are behind the wheel. Even if you consider yourself an expert at eating a burger while driving, it’s a distraction. Put all electronics away, and make sure to get any directions needed ahead of time. Here are some ways to prevent distracted driving.
  2. Be aware. Keep around a 3 to 4-second cushion between you and the car in front of you and maintain a safe following distance. This should allow for enough time for you to brake to a stop if necessary.  If there is bad weather, consider a longer allotted time between you and the car in front of you.
  3. Plan ahead and don’t rush. If you are going on a road trip, get an idea of any stops you’ll make on the way to your destination (e.g. food, gas, or phone calls). Always make any adjustments to your mirror, climate controls, and seat before putting your car in drive.
  4. Keep everything secured. Make sure to secure cargo that may move around while the car is getting you from point A to point B. Don’t try and reach for any items that fall on the floor while driving, just wait until you are to your destination to retrieve the item. If you do need any items, like a toll pass or parking pass, put them in an easy-to-reach place.
  5. Don’t skimp on maintenance. Have your routine inspections to take care of any problems with your vehicle. Check your tire pressure regularly to avoid flats or blowouts and pay attention to your car’s brakes (if anything sounds off, here’s what to do). If you notice any abnormalities have them checked out by a mechanic.
  6. Pack an emergency kit. Just in case you are in an emergency situation, have a first-aid kit handy, as well as road flares, jumper cables, flashlight with extra batteries, and drinking water. Keep a phone charger in your car in case you need to dial 911 or roadside assistance.

Safe driving is the number one priority on the road. If you are a Metromile customer and an accident does happen, follow these guidelines. If you are in need of roadside assistance and have it included in your policy, you can request roadside assistance through the app or your dashboard. We’ll do everything we can to get you back on the road as quickly and safely as possible!

Smart Driving: April Showers

April showers may bring May flowers…but it’s not easy driving in a rainstorm. Decreased visibility, slippery pavement and inclement weather create a dangerous environment for driving. Here are some tips to prepare you for smart driving on rainy days.

smart driving
Keep your car weather-ready: Be prepared for the rain by keeping your car in good condition with your regular check-up with a mechanic. They’ll make sure your tire tread is long enough for tough driving conditions and that your windshield wipers are ready for the weather.

Save cruise control for another day. You’ll want to have control to let off the speed immediately if you start to hydroplane.

Remember what you learned in driver’s ed? Keep both hands in a firm grip on the wheel to have stronger control.

Take it slow. No need to rush home in this weather. Give the vehicle in front of you some extra space, and slow your speed down to keep the vehicle in your control.

Stay away from road puddles. Even after the rain, avoid those large puddles – you can’t be sure how deep they are or how slippery the pavement is.

Hide distractions: There’s never a good time to check your phone while driving, but you definitely don’t want to have any temptations near you on a rainy trip. Stow your phone in your bag and put it in the back seat where you can’t access it. (More tips on combating distracting driving here)

Skip the rain boots: Keep a sensible pair of shoes in the car for driving. Stiff boots can make it more difficult to move and press down quickly on the pedals.

If you feel uneasy about driving in the rain, listen to your gut. Take a raincheck from your plans and stay home. Many drivers choose to stay off the roads during a snowstorm, but they often don’t see the danger of driving in a downpour. Can we recommend the Gene Kelly classic movie “Singing in the Rain” for your night in?

Be Prepared: What to Do Before & After a Car Accident

No matter how minor, being in a car accident can really jolt you (pun not intended). To ease the burden and shock, familiarize yourself with the following tips about what to do before and after an accident.

car accident

Before the accident
Be sure to keep your vehicle registration, auto insurance and emergency contact list in your car, and always carry your driver’s license with you when driving. Keep a set of orange cones or warning triangles in your trunk to help alert traffic in the situation of an accident.

At the scene
Before worrying about anything else, make sure everyone is OK (including people in the other car), and call 911 if anyone is injured. Then immediately move everyone (and your car if possible) to a safe location on the side of the road.

Once in a safe space, be sure to call the police to file a police report, and use your smartphone to take pictures of the damage. Before the other party departs, exchange information and take down their insurance information, license plate and a photo of their driver’s license. Notify your insurance company immediately and be ready to provide them with this information. If you are a Metromile customer, you can easily file your claim online or call us at 1.888.595.5485.

In case of phantom accidents
In the case of a hit and run, be sure to get as much information as possible, especially a full or partial license plate if possible. If there are any witnesses, get their contact information. Avoid fixing the car until the damage has been assessed by an adjuster.

In the case of stolen car, call the police as soon as possible to file a report, and then contact your insurance company. If you are a pay-per-mile customer, the Pulse can be used to help locate a stolen car (it’s happened in the past!).

The Aftermath
At Metromile, a customer service advocate will reach out proactively to help ensure the claims process goes as smooth as possible. No other leading insurance company does this! They will track your progress and help you with any questions you may have about resolving the claim.

If you are a pay-per-mile insurance customer and are in an accident, you can reach the Metromile claims team 24/7 at 888.215.9176. Whether you need help locating repair facilities or need an update on work being done, Metromile can get you the information you need. We’ll do everything we can to get you back on the road as quickly and safely as possible.

Car Maintenance 101: What to Do When You Get a Flat

If you’ve never gotten a flat tire – lucky you! And if you have, maybe you wish you had been a little more prepared to deal with this all-too-common yet extremely frustrating situation. While most cars typically come equipped with a spare, there’s more to fixing a flat than simply calling a tow truck or learning how to change your tire. Follow these tips to ensure that you don’t lose steam the next time your tire loses air.

flat_tire_repair

Take preemptive measures.
Underinflated tires are one of the most common causes of flats because they create more friction, potentially leading to excessive heating. Overinflated tires are concerning as well because they can cause uneven wear on the treads and blowout if they get too hot. To avoid both of these scenarios, use a tire gauge to ensure your tires are inflated to the recommended PSI level, which you can find in your car owner’s manual or door jamb. And since you never know when you will encounter a bump in the road (both hypothetically and realistically speaking), make sure your spare tire is properly inflated as well.

You should also keep an eye on your tires to check for anything that looks off. While it’s pretty difficult to eyeball the ideal PSI level, you’ll be able to notice if your tire pressure seems super low or if there are any weird bulges. It’s also important to keep an eye on your tire treads to see if they start to look worn out. Try this quick trick: stick a penny in the treads with Lincoln’s head upside down, and if you can see all of his head, it’s time to replace your tires. Head to your local mechanic to check things out before it’s too late (cue the scary music).

You’ve got a flat – now what?
Where there’s smoke, there’s sometimes fire… or a flat tire. When your tire is so flat that the rim is grinding against the road, the friction will cause smoke. As if we needed to tell you this, smoke coming from your car is a strong indicator that you should pull over as soon as possible. Ideally, you should get off the highway, but if that isn’t an option you should stop where the shoulder is wide enough. Mechanic Matt has some good roadside safety tips, including the importance of setting out flares even in broad daylight. Once you are safely pulled over, go ahead and put on your spare if you know how to change your tire. If you don’t, just call a local towing company. If you are far from home, Yelp is a great way to find the most reliable services in the area. (more…)

Maintenance Monday: Roadside Safety Tips

 

Maintenance Monday

 

Summer is quickly approaching and chances are a road trip (or five) is in your near future. However, with increased travel comes increased chances for car trouble. Whether it’s a flat tire, breakdown, or an accident, there’s a good chance you’ll experience some sort of roadside emergency in your lifetime. And if this happens on a busy street or freeway where you’ll have to contend with heavy traffic, a bad situation can quickly become worse.

If you have an emergency while driving, your personal safety should be your first priority. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are roughly 4,000 pedestrian fatalities every year, accounting for 12% of all traffic fatalities and 59,000 pedestrian injuries from roadway crashes. Practicing smart roadside safety can help prevent you from becoming an unfortunate statistic. Here are my safety tips to help prevent one accident from becoming two.

Move to Safety
Regardless of the situation, the first thing you must do is get your vehicle to a safe spot away from traffic. If you’ve been in an accident, motion for the other driver to do the same before assessing the damage. Even if you have a tire blowout or a flat, move out of the way before attempting a repair, even if it means damaging your car even further. The cost of a new tire could be minimal compared to any additional harm or damage that could occur.

Make the Call
Once you’ve moved to a safe location, stay in your car and call for help. If something is wrong with your car, call a tow truck or your insurance provider’s roadside assistance. If you’ve been involved in an accident, call the police and file a report, no matter how big or severe the accident is. The police will help sort everything out and determine who is responsible for what damages. If someone is injured, you should also call for emergency services immediately. And if you break down in a dangerous area, make sure to keep your doors locked until help arrives.

Stay Visible
Carry flags, flares, or reflective triangles in your vehicle so you can mark your location in the event of an emergency. You should also turn on your hazard lights so that other drivers have advanced warning of a problem ahead. Even if it’s a bright sunny day, it’s still important to alert other cars that something is wrong.

These are just a few simple things that can reduce the possibilities of turning a bad situation worse. If you do get involved in an accident as a Metromile customer, our customer service advocates are available to help you throughout the claims process.