Survey Says

New data shows where, when drivers are most likely to crash

Agero, which supplies roadside assistance, analyzed their calls for help to get results on likely incident scenarios.

Photo by Getty Images

Data from 65 million U.S. drivers has revealed when and where they are most likely to need roadside assistance. Agero, one of the largest providers of roadside assistance in the country, for companies including Toyota, Ford, and Progressive, conducted extensive quantitative and qualitative research and analysis to detail what a typical call for help looks like outside of a traditional crash scenario. These are the results.

Breakdowns can come in multiples. 

Of the respondents who experienced a breakdown in the last six months, nearly two-thirds of those under 35 years old reported experiencing two or more breakdown events, while just 40 percent of those over 35 experienced two or more.

It almost always happens on a weekday.

While one might assume a breakdown is most likely to occur during a long drive, like a summer or holiday road trip, this happens just four percent of the time. Instead, over 75 percent of breakdowns occur during the daytime and roughly 70 percent happen on weekdays – causing major inconvenience when you're about use the car to run errands (42 percent) or commute to or from work (25 percent).

Most incidents happen close to home.

Everyone's worst case scenario is being left stranded on the side of a highway. But as it turns out, this happens just 13 percent of the time. A calmer neighborhood street is the much more likely location, occurring almost a quarter of the time (22 percent). And, the chance of a breakdown happening while driving vs. parked is an even 50-50 split, with a significant portion of respondents at home (26 percent) or in a parking lot (25 percent) when their issue occurred. Overall, roughly 80 percent of events occur within 30 minutes of home.

Most incidents also happen while drivers are alone.

The natural tendency is to worry about being stranded with our kids in the car. Fortunately, this is often not the case. Over half of events (53 percent) occurred with no other passengers in the car. Other adults and children are present just 13 percent of the time, while drivers reported having only kids in the car for eight percent of events.

Most incidents don't require a tow truck.

A full 75 percent of the time, the event doesn't require a tow, and is instead a caused by a dead battery (24 percent), flat tire (23 percent), lockout (12 percent), out of fuel (10 percent) or stuck in a ditch, mud, etc. (5 percent). A tow is required just 25 percent of the time due to a mechanical problem (17 percent) or flat tire with no spare available (8 percent).

Spare tires are becoming increasingly less common as standard equipment in vehicles so it will be interesting to see how these numbers change over time. If you're not 100 percent sure if your vehicle has a spare tire and the proper equipment to change the tire, now's the time to check.

About half of vehicles on the road have an incident by the time they get to be eight years old.

Perhaps not surprisingly, vehicle age can play a role in the likelihood of a breakdown. In recent years, roughly 10 percent of cars two years old or less have had a breakdown. But the likelihood begins to spike after that, with approximately 30 percent of cars experiencing a breakdown by the time they are four years old and half experiencing such an event by the time they are eight years old.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The disinfectant is the first of its kind to be mass distributed by an OEM.

Photo courtesy of Mitsubishi Motors

Mitsubishi Motors has announced that its new Diamond Premium Care disinfecting spray has been approved for use by the Environmental Protection Agency, and is effective in killing the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Diamond Premium Care is a non-abrasive, antimicrobial, no-contact disinfecting and deodorizing spray used on vehicle interiors and HVAC systems. Mitsubishi Motors is the first and only OEM deploying this service on a national scale.

"Diamond Premium Care is a rare tool in the fight against COVID-19. It offers peace of mind to the driver of any vehicle, but it's especially valuable to those with added exposure, whether that comes from regularly sharing their vehicle with others or from the direct risk of on-the-job exposure to COVID-19," said MMNA Vice President of Aftersales, Scott Smith. "MMNA and our dealer partners are proud to be able to offer this first-of-its-kind, EPA-approved service to everyone during these challenging times."

Mitsubishi Motors COVID-19 spray The spray can be applied at a local dealership.Photo courtesy of Mitsubishi Motors

Diamond Platinum Care kills 99.99% of viruses and bacteria that inhabit automotive interiors and circulate via the vehicle's HVAC system. It kills SARS-Related Coronavirus 2 on hard, non-porous surfaces. It also eliminates odors at their source without using abrasive chemicals or masking agents.

Here's how it works. The dye-free treatment is applied directly by spray to vehicle surfaces, and for HVAC application, it is applied through the outdoor air intake vent, allowing it to permeate through the HVAC system and cabin interior. For a standard-size vehicle, treatment can be completed in just 10 minutes.

The technology behind Diamond Premium Care™ was developed by Texas-based vehicle disinfecting solutions provider BioPledge.

Diamond Premium Care is currently offered at participating Mitsubishi Motors dealer partners in the U.S. Service must be scheduled in advance with a participating dealer. Pricing may vary. To learn more about this service, and to find a dealership near you, visit mitsubishicars.com/diamond-premium-care-car-disinfectant.

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OnStar Insurance Services will launch later this year.

Photo courtesy of General Motors

OnStar is best known as the service that activates when you press the button in your General Motors car. It can do any number of things from emergency dialing to concierge-like service. Now, GM is looking to add one more aspect to its OnStar roster - insurance.

GM's new insurance agency, OnStar Insurance Services, will be the exclusive agent for OnStar Insurance. In a release, GM said that they intend to offer "a secure, fair, personalized and easy-to-use digital insurance experience for drivers".

The insurance plan will integrate with drivers' existing OnStar services and presumably provide a great deal of data to OnStar and GM regarding daily habits of the vehicle's driver(s) and safety as part of the program.

OnStar Guardian app OnStar recently released the Guardian app, which untethered users from their vehicle and allowed them to take their services with them. Photo courtesy of General Motors

OnStar Insurance is aiming to provide insurance that is secure, fair, personalized, and easy to use. "OnStar Insurance will promote safety, security and peace of mind," said Andrew Rose, president of OnStar Insurance Services. "We aim to be an industry leader, offering insurance in an innovative way. GM customers who have subscribed to OnStar and connected services will be eligible to receive discounts, while also receiving fully-integrated services from OnStar Insurance Services."

The junction of the two arms of OnStar will allow customers to have their vehicle's Automatic Crash Response activated in the event of a collision, then have an OnStar Emergency-certified Advisor can send help. From there, OnStar might be able to access telematics, safety system, and infotainment data to determine the cause of the crash and begin the repair process without having to wait for coordinated responses from numerous parties as would traditionally occur when a crash happens.

OnStar is working with vehicle insurance providers to devise a plan that will focus on a customer's precise risk factors to determine the price, including individual vehicle usage and driving habits. The company says that those with "smart driving habits" should be rewarded. Several insurance companies currently offer discounts like this. OnStar looks to also provide feedback to drivers.

OnStar Insurance Services seeks to create a centralized location for customers' automotive insurance needs. It is likely that this means that a buyer can purchase a vehicle from a dealership with insurance and their OnStar safety system subscription built into the contract.

Starting with Arizona residents, OnStar Insurance Services will initially offer OnStar Insurance to GM employees in Q4 2020, expanding to additional customers, including the general public, in early 2021.

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