In-vehicle technology can increase distracted driving – Nationwide

Peak time for collisions approaching

In-vehicle technology can increase distracted driving – Nationwide

Motor & Fleet

By Kenneth Araullo

Casey Kempton, president of personal lines at Nationwide, discussed the impact of in-vehicle technology on distracted driving in an interview with AM Best.

When asked about current trends in the insurance industry, Kempton highlighted the importance of data.

“Data is essential to how we rate policies, how we understand customers, and how we can engage in the market,” she said.

Kempton noted that the ability to better understand risk and exposure through data is shifting more control to consumers. In the auto sector, the use of telematics to rate good driving behavior is evolving rapidly.

Kempton also addressed the issue of distracted driving, noting that both private-passenger and commercial drivers are concerned about it.

“I do think it's incredibly dangerous, particularly as we're coming into July 4, that is when just the peak of collisions happens and it kind of goes all the way to Labor Day,” she said. “The roads are congested, people need to be aware, they need to be present, they need to put their phones down and focus. People expect that commercial vehicle drivers will not follow so closely, and they will use their turn signals. So, it's not just distracted driving. We all have to drive the best we can on the road to keep us all safe.”

In terms of other factors contributing to distracted driving, Kempton pointed to the pervasive presence of technology in vehicles. Features such as GPS and music apps can be distractions.

“Just in general, keep yourself as much as possible using some of the verbal commands that we can,” she said. “Then in some states, there's these really clever signs on the road that are actually aiming to keep us from being distracted with these clever sayings. However, in some cases, those too create some distractions. So, just be hyper vigilant, stay focused on the road.”

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