The Cost of Driving: Is it on the Rise?

Posted by Safeco November 7, 2016
The Cost of Driving

4 Current Trends Impacting Driving Costs

Driving. Does it seem like it’s a bigger drain on your wallet than before? It very well could be. Just look at these four trends that may be contributing to higher costs:

  1. More new cars with more advanced features: Today’s drivers have a healthy appetite for new cars, and most of the vehicles are laden with technology. That makes them expensive to repair or replace, such as after a total loss accident.

    Americans bought 5.7 percent more new cars in 2015 than 2014, to the tune of 17.5 million vehicles sold, according to the 2016 Auto Industry Trends report from PricewaterouseCoopers.
  2. More distractions: Speaking of accidents, we have more distractions taking our eyes off the road than ever before, including both the vehicle’s technology and our own. Navigation systems, mobile phones, passengers and more are all distractions than can lead to devastating accidents.

    At least one in 10 traffic deaths involve a distracted driver, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
  3. More crowded roadways and more incidents: Distracted driving is all the more dangerous given we are spending more time on the road. We’re driving more miles, and also seeing more accidents.

    The Federal Highway Administration estimated that U.S. drivers logged 3.1 trillion miles in 2015. That’s the highest since 2007’s 3 trillion miles. Unfortunately in 2015, traffic fatalities also rose 7.2 percent from the year before. That was the biggest single-year increase since 1966, according to the NHTSA.
  4. More expensive claims: Here’s an interesting tidbit: Claim frequency is on the decline. But, cost isn’t. That’s likely due to the rising severity of accidents and the increased cost of medical care.

    From 2005 to 2013, the frequency of bodily injury liability claims decreased 14.5 percent, according to the Insurance Research Council. Yet, costs rose 31.2 percent during the same period.

Cars, repairs, accidents – they’re all getting more expensive. And, more miles driven and more demands on our attention can mean more accidents.

It all feeds into the overall costs associated with driving, possibly even your auto insurance rates. But, with the risk of costly accidents on the rise, this is certainly no time to try to save on insurance by reducing your coverage. If you’re concerned about your auto insurance rates, your independent insurance agent can help. Talk to an independent agent about finding a balance of coverage and price that feels right for you – and your wallet.


How to Buy Car Insurance

There’s cheap car insurance that can put you at risk. Then there’s car insurance built with affordability in mind. To help ensure you select the latter rather than the former, check out these car insurance questions to discuss with an independent agent, who can easily compare rates and match a policy to your driving habits, lifestyle and budget.

Tell us what you think

Let the world know what you think, but do so responsibly. Comments are moderated and we will not post personal attacks, obscene language or inappropriate material, comments with links, or comments from people under the age of 18. If you have a question, check out our Comment Submission Guidelines.

By posting your comment, you agree to our site's Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

© 2017 Liberty Mutual Insurance, 175 Berkeley Street, Boston, Massachusetts, 02116

Insurance is offered by Safeco Insurance Company of America and/or its affiliates, with their principal place of business at 175 Berkeley Street, Boston, Massachusetts, 02116. This website provides a simplified description of coverage. Nothing stated herein creates a contract. All statements made are subject to the provisions, exclusions, conditions and limitations of the applicable insurance policy. Please refer to actual policy forms for complete details regarding the coverage discussed. If the information in these materials conflicts with the policy language that it describes, the policy language prevails. Coverages and features not available in all states. Eligibility is subject to meeting applicable underwriting criteria.