POWER OF DATA BLOG

Why Cheaper Gas Prices Could Put Your Safety At Risk

Changing Driver Behavior
Jun 13/2016 Published by:

Believe it or not – the fact that prices at the pump are about $1 per gallon cheaper today than they were a year ago1 could mean your safety on the road is at risk.

According to an analysis by a South Dakota State University professor, traffic fatalities spike when gas prices are low. In fact, a $2 per gallon drop could translate into 9,000 road fatalities across the country2.

Why? Because when fuel costs less, people are more likely to drive. And the more cars there are on the road, the more likely drivers are to get into fatal collisions.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Based on our analysis of billions of miles driven, Lytx data scientists have pinpointed driving behaviors that increase the likelihood of a collision. Changing these behaviors have helped prevent tens of thousands of collisions every year.

Here are a few tips from our data team to help keep drivers safer on the road:

  • Don’t eat and drive. People who eat or drink while driving are 3.6 times more likely to be involved in a collision3.
  • Don’t pick up your smart phone. People who talk or text on their smartphones are 4.7 times more likely to be involved in a collision4.
  • Resist the temptation to use a hands-free device. Hands-free devices aren’t a sure bet; drivers who use hands-free devices are still 4.6 times more likely to be involved in a collision5.

No matter how low gas prices dip or how many cars there are on the road, changing driving behavior can help make our streets and highways safer.


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