9 Ways to Avoid Getting Your Car Stolen

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

Tips-for-Vehicle-Theft-Prevention-

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

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

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

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

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

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

Follow these tips to avoid vehicle theft:

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

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

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

Vehicle Breakdown Checklist: What To Do When Your Car Breaks Down

It’s a situation no one wants to deal with: a car breakdown. It can be inconvenient at best, scary at worst, and no matter what kind of malfunction you experience, you can bet the necessary fix will likely be pricey.

What-to-do-when-your-car-breaks-down

No matter where you are when your car breaks down, here are 5 steps to follow to stay safe and get yourself back on the road safely.

5 Steps to Take When your Car Breaks Down:

    1.Be prepared before a breakdown. The best way to keep a bad situation from becoming worse is to be prepared. Always keep these essentials in your car in case of emergencies:

    • A cell phone charger
    • Flashlights and extra batteries
    • Jumper cables
    • Flares or reflectors
    • An ice scraper, snow shovel, and sand if you live in snowy conditions
    • An umbrella
    • A toolkit
    • A first aid kit
    • Coolant

    2.Know how to get off the road safely. Cars typically don’t just stop entirely when there’s a breakdown, so you’ll likely have some time as your car slows down to get over to the side of the road. Avoid braking suddenly and take your foot off the gas smoothly and gently as you steer your vehicle over to the side of the road.

    3.Call for help. This is when roadside assistance is your best friend. If you’re a Metromile customer, you have the option to add on this feature to your policy so you can get a jump, tow, or locksmith 24/7. If you’re in serious trouble, call 9-1-1.

    4.Signal to other drivers. Here’s where the flares in your trunk come in handy. As long as it’s safe to get out of your car and walk to the back, place both flares behind your vehicle about 50 feet away or more if possible. Turn on your hazard lights and pop your hood so motorists know to steer clear.

    5.Use your best judgment. Strangers may stop to offer help while you wait for roadside assistance. It’s best to follow your gut; if something doesn’t feel right, stay in your car (as long as it’s safe), and only roll down the windows enough to talk and let them know help is on the way.

Breakdowns are never fun but if you follow these steps it will be just a car breakdown rather than a total mental breakdown. Interested in Metromile pay-per-mile insurance and Roadside assistance? Get a free quote now.


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

Winter Weather Driving Safety Tips

As temperatures dip, it can become harder and less convenient to get through everyday life. But aside from the unpleasant chill in the air, cold weather can mean real road hazards that put your safety at risk. Every year, far too many drivers lose their lives to wintertime accidents. But by taking a few preventive measures and precautions, you can greatly reduce your risk and feel safer behind the wheel, no matter the season.

Cold-Weather-Driving-Tips

Here are the top 10 cold weather driving safety tips you need to know:

    1.Keep your car in top shape. Be sure your battery, tire tread, and windshield wipers are all up to snuff, and put no-freeze fluid in your washer reservoir. Keep your windows clear, check your antifreeze, and always be sure to keep your gas tank at least half full in case you need to run your engine to stay warm in the event of a breakdown.

    2.Pack the right supplies. Everyone should have a flashlight, jumper cables, blankets, and flares on hand, and if you live in a snowy region, your trunk should pack an ice scraper, snow shovel, sand or salt.

    3.Plan your route. Even if you know exactly where you’re going, check weather conditions, traffic, accident reports, and other factors that may impact your trip.

    4.Adjust your speed accordingly. When weather conditions change, it’s important to stay present and in tune with your surroundings; you may need to drive slower than average to stay safe and in control. Remember that posted speed limits apply to dry roads, not those covered in ice or snow, so let your sense dictate your speed; not necessarily the signs.

    5.Keep a safe amount of space between you and other vehicles. Stopping distances are longer on icy roads-driving too close behind another car can result in a rear-end crash.

    6.Know how to get unstuck. If you do get stuck in the snow, avoid spinning your wheels; this will just dig you deeper into the slush. Figure out the simplest way to dig yourself out of the hole and clear the snow in front of and behind all four tires before spreading sand or kitty litter to provide instant traction. As you maneuver the vehicle out, keep your front tires straight so you’ll encounter less resistance.

    7.Be prepared for a skid. Skidding on an icy road can be scary, but it’s important to stay as calm as possible so you can move through the important safety steps: avoid slamming on your brakes, take your foot off the gas, and steer in the direction you want to go. Allow the car to slow down so you can regain control.

    8.Know your brakes. Being aware of the type of brakes you have will dictate how you use them: if you have anti-lock brakes, you can apply steady pressure, but if you have non-anti-lock brakes, you’ll need to pump them gently so you avoid locking them and losing control.

    9.Take on hills the right way. You may be tempted to power up a hill, but using extra gas on a snowy incline can cause your wheels to spin. Instead, gain some inertia on flat road before you reach the hill, and as you reach the peak, reduce your speed (but don’t stop!) so you can head downhill as slowly as possible.

    10.If possible…stay home. The only way to completely eliminate the risk of cold weather driving is to avoid it whenever possible. If you don’t absolutely have to get behind the wheel, don’t-even if you’re an excellent wintertime driver, others on the road may not be as skilled.

Bundle up, stay warm, and be safe out there – and if you haven’t checked out Metromile, get a free quote now.


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

Snow Tires vs. Chains: Everything You Need to Know

With winter firmly planting her feet in for the next six weeks (thanks, Punxsutawney Phil), it’s time to get serious about your tire choices and how it will affect your ability to travel. Four wheel drive or all-wheel drive: it doesn’t matter how powerful your car is – if the tires have zero traction, then you’ll be on the road to going nowhere fast. If you live somewhere that gets dangerously slick during the winter, having reliable traction is a must. The real question then becomes: snow tires or chains – which form of traction is better?

Snow-Tires-vs.-Chains-Everything-You-Need-to-Know

The debate has been going for years, with both having their benefits and disadvantages. Let’s weigh in on the pros and cons of both to help you make an informed decision this winter!

    Non-Studded Snow Tires:

  • Pros:There’s no doubt about it – snow tires provide excellent traction on snowy and icy road conditions. Non-studded snow tires perform extremely well on ice and packed snow. In particular, non-studded snow tires also perform well on dry roads, making them a great multi-purpose option. Additionally, they won’t cause any damage to dry roadways (which is a feature unique to non-studded snow tires).
  • Cons: They’re pricey. Not only will you have to fork out cash for the tires themselves (and they’re not cheap), but you will also need to front the cost of having them professionally installed and removed at the start and end of the season. Non-studded snow tires also do not provide great traction in deep snow and wear out faster when driven on dry pavement.
  • Studded Snow Tires:

  • Pros: Studded snow tires are also an excellent form of traction in the wintertime. The metal studs on the tire grip the snow and ice even better than non-studded snow tires. Just like non-studded snow tires, they are a very reliable option for navigating treacherous roadways; in addition to providing better traction and handling, the studs provide an additional point of contact on slick surfaces like ice and compacted snow.
  • Cons: Studded snow tires have proven to be quite damaging to dry pavement and should only be used when driving in slippery conditions. These tires may even be illegal in some states – or if they are legal, it’s only during certain months of the year (depending on your region). They are also quite pricey and like non-studded snow tires, you will need to pay to have them professionally installed and removed.
  • Chains:

  • Pros: First, chains are substantially less expensive than snow tires – to some folks, that fact alone may tip the scales in favor of chains. Chains also provide the greatest amount of traction on ice, packed snow, and deep snow (in which snow tires do not have the advantage). Another great feature of chains: you can easily install and remove them yourself! This makes them a fantastic option if you don’t typically need winter weather traction and are only traveling through inclement conditions temporarily.
  • Cons: If you have chains on your tires, you should not (and in some places, cannot) drive on dry pavement. Driving on dry pavement with chains will not only damage the roadway but will be a bone-rattling experience for all inside the vehicle. Some people equate driving with chains on dry pavement to the feeling of driving with square tires – yikes! While in use, you should plan to drive at a very low speed and should only use them when absolutely necessary, to avoid potential damage to your vehicle.

Non-studded, studded, or chains – one size definitely does not fit all! When weighing these options, consider the pros and cons to determine which would best fit into your lifestyle. Also, be sure get a quick free quote with Metromile now. Be safe out there this winter 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

The 6 Best Winter Destinations For Your Next Road Trip

Winter blues got you down? Once the holidays settle and the world is shrouded in snow, it can be hard to muster up the desire to do anything but snuggle inside with a mug of cocoa and watch reruns of The Office.

But, wait. Have you thought about taking a road trip? Yes, we realize Kevin and his vat of chili can seem more enticing than jumping in the car when it’s freezing outside. However, winter might just be the best time to hit the open road, because 1) less tourists means less traffic, and 2) it just might end up being your most majestic road trip yet! We are lucky to live in a beautiful country with seemingly endless scenic drives – many of which are made all-the-more breathtaking by long winter shadows on thick blankets of snow and ice. Honestly, what more could you ask for?

The-6-Best-Winter-Destinations-For-Your-Next-Road-Trip

Now that you’ve gotten your car scraped off, heated seats warmed up, and snow tires at the ready, drive on with confidence into these 6 unique winter wonderlands. We picked our favorite winter road trip destinations so all you have to do is go!

The 6 Best Winter Road Trip Destinations

    Lake Tahoe, Nevada: The ultimate winter destination for snow bunnies, the drive around Lake Tahoe during winter is simply a sight to behold. Start your journey at Incline Village and make your way all the way around the lake’s 27 mile circumference. Be sure to stop off at Sand Harbor to dip a toe into the icy waters (fun fact: the lake never gets cold enough to freeze, but that definitely doesn’t mean it’s warm enough for anything except a Polar Bear plunge). Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the snow-dusted Sierra Nevada mountains reflected in the glassy surface of Lake Tahoe’s crystal clear water.

    Zion National Park, Utah: Zion was Utah’s first national park, and when you experience its endless beauty, you’ll understand why this place is named “Promised Land.” Shorter days mean longer shadows, so be sure to grab your camera for some epic winter desert photography; the white snow looks particularly striking against Zion’s giant stratified rock sculptures.

    White Mountains, New Hampshire: Fancy a twisty-turny scenic mountain drive? Get lost in an idyllic New England winter landscape with a drive in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. Make a pit stop in Jackson, NH, where the coffee is hot and the powder plentiful before jumping back on the road and continuing your New England winter journey.

    Glacier National Park, Montana: This 50-mile drive drops scenic view after scenic view and doesn’t care who knows it. Going-to-the-Sun road cuts Glacier National Park in half, and snow-covered forests, icy lakes, and frosted mountaintops surround both sides of the road. You may want to go extra slow for this drive so you don’t miss a single thing (including wildlife)!

    Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming: Making the 52-mile drive along Grand Loop Road in Yellowstone during winter may be one of the most awe-inspiring road trips ever. If you look carefully, you may be able to spot packs of wolves roaming the desolate landscape. Be sure to have your brakes at the ready if a bachelor bison (an older male bison that has left the herd) wanders into your path.

    Badlands, South Dakota: Though the temperature may hover “below the donut” (aka subzero), it will all be worth it to see a light dusting of snow on the impressive rock formations of the South Dakota Badlands. Begin your journey on South Dakota Highway 240 in Wall, SD and be sure to make frequent stops throughout the day at the many scenic lookouts. During this time of year, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone else poking around except park rangers and some bighorn sheep.

If the winter weather forces you to change direction or turn back, always be sure to have a plan B in place. Who knows, the road trip could end up being even more spectacular! Also, it never hurts to have an emergency kit in the car, including: a flashlight with fresh batteries, a blanket, a lighter, snacks, bottled water, gloves, boots, an ice scraper, jumper cables, and a first aid kit.

Us Metromilers love and encourage road trips, which is why we cap your miles at 150/day (250 in New Jersey), so get a quote today and start planning your next winter road trip! And here’s the most important question of all: where should we go first?

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

10 Things You Need For a Good Road Trip

Road trips can go one of two ways: totally awesome or a total disaster. What started as a fun, spontaneous idea can suddenly take a nosedive if you go into it unprepared. From getting stranded with no data or cell service, to emergency bathroom stops, your road trip can quickly turn from freaking awesome to “I’m freaking out!”.

10 Things You Need For a Good Road Trip

Yes, there was a reason that your parents packed the minivan to the gills (I admit it… you were right about everything, Mom!). It seems the more well-planned road trips tend to go off without a hitch. Us Metromilers love road trips and encourage our customers to take them, which is why we cap your mileage at 250 miles/day (150 miles/day in New Jersey). From having the right snacks, to the right tunes, to arguably the most important thing – planned restroom stops – here are our 10 things you need to make your next road trip your most epic one yet.

    1. Hands-free phone holder: Your phone will most likely be your GPS and source of music, so be sure to invest in a hands-free phone holder to make it safer and easier to navigate. It doesn’t need to be fancy – I bought one in the Target dollar section a couple years ago and it was exactly what I needed and so inexpensive. Side note: the Target dollar section rules.

    2. Downloaded Google maps: Did you know that you can download any map in the world in the Google Maps app? This tip is super important because there will definitely be lapses in cell service and data coverage, and you do not want to be stranded without a map. This past summer, I visited New Zealand and downloaded a map of the entire north island on my phone before arriving (just in case). It ended up coming in handy when we lost data coverage on the remote back roads of the island. Thanks to the pre-downloaded map, we were still able to navigate our way back to town. Also, Google Maps will still give you turn-by-turn directions with the downloaded maps! See how to do it here.

    3. Snacks and drinks: No explanation needed. Make sure everyone in the car gets their favorite kind, and be sure to also have some more substantial snacks (like Kind Bars or Clif Bars) on hand in case anyone gets hangry. Don’t forget the bottled water, too!

    4. Fast Track toll pass: If you don’t already have one of these in your car, you should definitely get one stat. In addition to offering you discounts on tolls, it expedites the toll-paying process and eliminates the need to fumble for loose change, so you can be on your way faster!

    5. First Aid Kit and Magic Tank: You’ll most likely never have to use these two but they’re important to bring anyway as a precaution. Put together a simple first aid kit consisting of bandages, gauze, bottled water, an instant ice pack, a flashlight with fresh batteries, Swiss Army knife, Ibuprofen, Dramamine, a lighter, and rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide, and store it in your trunk. Also, Magic Tank is a great thing to have on hand – it’s a non-flammable emergency fuel that can help you make it to a gas station if you’re coasting on fumes.

    6. Car phone charger: This is a necessity and something that you should keep in your car at all times. There is nothing worse than needing to call for help and having a dead phone battery. Without this you will be walking, my friend!

    7. Neck pillow: Long hours in the car means cramped bodies and necks. Make your journey a little more pleasant by bringing a neck pillow so you can snooze in the back when it’s not your turn to drive. This one by Lewis N. Clark is great because it can convert into a lumbar support pillow as well. My back feels better just thinking about it.

    8. Good tunes: This one is up for debate, because it’s guaranteed that everyone in the car will have differing opinions on what constitutes “good” tunes. My road trip rules are that the driver gets to pick the tunes. And when all else fails: headphones.

    9. Toilet paper: Just put a roll in the car. It takes up zero space… and you never know when someone might need it. Ahem.

    10. Small bills and coins: It’s always good to have a bit of cash (small bills) and some coins on hand. From parking meters to issues at the toll booth, you never know when you’re going to need some to help you out in a pinch.

As one final tip: my Dad always told me, “Dress like you’re going to have to walk.” Make sure you wear comfy, weather-appropriate clothing, and reliable footwear.

That’s it! Go forth and conquer your future road trips with these tips. Metromile will be there with you every mile of the way, helping you to optimize your trip by spending less on gas, tracking your mileage, and finding your car (who remembers that Seinfeld episode?). Be sure to get a quote with Metromile today, and let’s get that next road trip on the books!

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

5 Tips For Navigating Thanksgiving Traffic

Thanksgiving brings to mind family, friends, turkey, and potatoes. 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 49 million Americans contributed to road congestion for the Thanksgiving holiday. With all those people on the road, we wanted to share our top tips for stress-free holiday navigating.

Girl Holding Sign 'Give Thanks.' Thanksgiving Traffic Tips

    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. 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!

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.

drowsy_driving

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.

Premium or Regular Gas? How to Choose at the Pump

If you’re like many drivers, the choice you make at the gas station is simple and you buy regular, unleaded gasoline. But have you ever wondered what the difference is between each octane and why some spend more to fill up with premium? Most gas stations offer three octane levels: regular (about 87), mid-grade (about 89) and premium (91 to 93) but we’ve broken down the facts about each so you can make the right choice at the pump.

regular_gas

Regular Unleaded Gas- Typically the cheapest per gallon, regular gas is the most commonly used octane. Your car owner’s manual lists the recommended gas and for those cars designed to run on regular gas, pumping up with premium will provide no additional performance, run faster or get you better gas mileage. Better quality ingredients and advances in technology make regular gas the best and most affordable option for most drivers.
Midgrade Gas- Few manufacturers suggest mid-grade gas, it’s more designed to offer a middle ground. It has slightly more additives so it could give you a small bump in fuel economy but generally the results won’t be obvious. The Federal Trade Commission says that if your engine pings, mid-grade gas could stop it.
Premium Gas- The most expensive octane, premium gas is recommended by some luxury manufacturers. Not using premium gas when it is recommended can cause engine knocking, which can eventually decrease the engine’s efficiency. Double-check whether your manufacturer requires premium or recommends premium as, according to auto experts, a recommendation means you can probably still fill up with regular, unleaded fuel much of the time. Regardless, if you know your car works best on premium stick with it.

Considering a switch to a vehicle that uses diesel instead of gasoline? Filling up at the pump with diesel instead of regular gasoline is more expensive, but premium gasoline is more expensive than diesel. Diesel does offer better miles per gallon but if you drive primarily in the city or less than 10,000 miles a year, you probably won’t save enough on fuel costs to justify a diesel purchase.

If you don’t find yourself at the gas pump very often, consider another way to save with pay-per-mile car insurance. Get a quick quote now to see how much you could save!

Road trip Inspiration: Beautiful Roads

When it comes to a summer road trip, it’s not just about the destination – it’s how you get there. From the original purple mountain majesties to towering skyscrapers, there are many roads worth traveling. Some of our favorites are listed here.

summer road trip

Avenue of the Giants: This 31 mile stretch of California 101 will take you right through the biggest trees in the world: the giant redwoods! Pro tip: Check out Hipcamp for a cool spot to stay overnight in the redwoods.

Bluebonnet trail: Nestled between Austin and Houston is the Bluebonnet trail, covered in wildflowers. Pro tip: Visit between March and May, when the bluebonnets are in full bloom.

The Road to Hana: The road to Hana is a 52 mile drive on the island of Maui from Kahului to Hana down winding roads and passing roadside fruit stands through tall trees and cliffside views. Pro tip: Once you reach Hana, grab lunch at Bruddah Hut BBQ. You won’t regret it.

Lake Shore Drive: With breath-taking views of Lake Michigan and towering skyscrapers, this is a must-drive if you’re taking a trip to Chicago. You’ll drive right past Soldier Field, Navy Pier, Lincoln Park Zoo and more. Pro tip: Stop for a famous Chicago hot dog (all the condiments, please!) or a deep dish pizza at Lou Malnati’s.

Blue Ridge Parkway connects Shenandoah National Park and Skyline Drive with the Great Smoky Mountains. With beautiful sunsets and mountain backgrounds, your jaw will hit the floor. Pro tip: Check out the Humpback rocks at the north end of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

If you find yourself mostly using your car for weekend trips, you could really benefit from Metromile pay-per-mile insurance. Metromile offers a road trip bonus, so you won’t be charged for any miles you drive above 250/day (150/day in certain states). Get a free quote here. Safe travels!