Factors driving up auto claim frequency are closely monitored by many in our industry. This episode of CCC Trends explores the interesting dynamics of gas prices, miles driven and traffic safety across the nation. Miles driven in the U.S. had been trending up slowly coming out of the recession, but when gas prices dropped, miles driven began to rise at a much faster rate – correlation between gas prices and miles driven is indeed strong. Corresponding to a rise in miles driven is a rise in total crashes. Gasoline price effects on total crashes, property-damage-only crashes, and injury crashes have been reported to be stronger in rural areas than urban areas. Additionally, other studies have been completed that look at the short term effects of gasoline prices on traffic crashes, which were found to be generally stronger than the delayed effects. Fortunately, road fatality numbers from the National Safety Council for January 2016 trended down for the first time in many months and this trend is something to be thankful for.
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