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7 Fourth of July Road Safety Tips from OCTO and Together for Safer Roads

Busy holiday lands in the middle of 100 Deadliest Days

Octo Telematics, the number one global provider of telematics and data analytics solutions for the auto insurance industry, and Together for Safer Roads (TSR), an innovative coalition that brings together global private-sector companies to focus on improving road safety and reducing deaths and injuries from road traffic collisions, are raising awareness of the hazards that come from more teen drivers on the road, and providing tips for safer driving over the popular Fourth of July holiday. The holiday lands in the middle of the 100 Deadliest Days, the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day each year that puts all drivers at higher risk due to more teens behind the wheel. The time period sees more crashes involving teen drivers, and more teens killed, than any other time of year.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, in the United States, the fatal crash rate per mile driven for 16-19 year-olds is nearly three times the rate for drivers ages 20 and over. Risk is highest at ages 16-17. The World Health Organization’s Global Status Report on Road Safety 2015 states that road crashes are the number one killer of young people ages 15-29.

With more teens driving over the summer, much of the driving recreational, and an increase in the number of passengers per vehicle – increasing distractions – teens and other drivers are at an increased risk for crashes. In addition, the Fourth of July holiday is one of the deadliest holidays for drunk driving crashes, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

In an effort to educate and combat these sobering statistics, Octo and TSR, through the analysis of their own data and initiatives, share the following seven important tips for safer holiday roads:

  1. Slow down and stay back. Octo’s data indicates that teen drivers tend to brake harder and speed more frequently than more seasoned drivers. Hard braking can be attributed to tailgating, not allowing enough time to gradually brake at stop signs and intersections, or by simply not paying attention to surroundings. Drivers should leave a “buffer zone” of at least one car length for every 10 MPH of speed when following a vehicle.
  2. Minimize distractions. This is especially crucial during holidays when many pedestrians are on the road. Ask passengers to be respectful and calm when you’re driving – the less distractions, the better. Distractions can include eating, tending to a grumpy child, or even applying makeup. People do a lot in their cars that should be done only when safely parked or out of the vehicle. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the U.S. saw an increase of nine percent in vehicle-related mortality from 2011 to 2012. In that year alone, 3,300 deaths and 421,000 injuries were related to distracted driving.
  3. Have a roadside assistance plan. Know what your roadside assistance plan is – whether from an organization like AAA or through your insurance telematics program – before hitting the road.
  4. Line up sober transportation. If you are driving and plan to drink even a little, consider alternative choices before going out. Plan public transportation routes, download a rideshare app such as Lyft, or identify restaurants in your area that participate in a designated driver program.
  5. Buckle up. Enough said.
  6. Never text and drive. According to the report “A Meta-Analysis of the Effects of Texting on Driving,” published in Accident Analysis and Prevention, there is strong evidence that distracted driving, including text messaging while driving, is linked to crashes, deaths, and injuries on the road. If you have children, teach them through example that texting while driving is never okay.
  7. Consider a telematics program to improve driving. In addition to possible insurance discounts for safer driving, Octo’s data shows that 40% of drivers that use feedback from a telematics program – such as usage-based insurance (UBI) – become better and safer drivers, improving their driving score and practicing safer road habits after only five weeks in a telematics program. If you already participate in a telematics program, check on your risk events tips to understand how you can improve safety habits.

“Octo is dedicated to working with organizations such as TSR to improve road safety for all drivers through insightful data,” said Nino Tarantino, North American CEO, Octo Telematics. “If we can help drivers better understand the small tweaks they can make to have a significant impact on saving lives, then we’ve made a positive difference toward change. Be safe this holiday by heeding these simple tips.”

“As the world’s largest insurance telematics provider and long term road safety advocate focused on creating better drivers, Octo Telematics brings a unique perspective to the coalition alongside our other members,” said Scott Ratzan, governing board member of Together for Safer Roads and vice president of global corporate affairs at AB InBev. “TSR aims to improve the safety of roads around the world, so that road traffic crashes are no longer one of the leading causes of death and injuries. Octo’s specific data and experience in this sector will further that mission.”

About Octo Telematics

OCTO is the number one global provider of telematics and data analytics solutions for the auto insurance industry. Founded in 2002, OCTO pioneered the insurance telematics industry. Today, OCTO is the largest and most experienced insurance telematics company in the world, transforming auto insurance through behavioral, contextual and driving analytics for more than 60 insurance partners. OCTO has more than four million connected users and the largest global database of telematics data, with over 100 billion miles of driving data collected and 250,000 crashes and insurance events analyzed. OCTO applies proprietary algorithms to this market-leading database to deliver powerful new insights into driver risk, informing solutions that benefit both auto insurance companies and policyholders. The company is headquartered in London, with offices in Boston, Rome, Stuttgart, Madrid, and San Paolo.

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About Together for Safer Roads

Together for Safer Roads (TSR) is an innovative coalition that brings together global private sector companies, across industries, to collaborate on improving road safety and reducing deaths and injuries from road traffic crashes globally. TSR brings together members’ knowledge, data, technology, and global networks to focus on five areas that will make the greatest impact globally and within local communities. These focus areas align with the United Nation’s Decade of Action for Road Safety’s Five Pillars by developing programs to address issues in road safety management, safer roads and mobility, safer vehicles, safer road users, and post-crash response.

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