Progressive: New Year’s Day sees spike in single-car crashes

John Egan

Many Americans are going to be ringing in the New Year by ringing up their car insurance companies.

According to data from Progressive Insurance, single-vehicle claims climbed 30 percent on New Year's Day 2012 compared with the same day of the week two weeks before and after New Year’s Day. The total number of car insurance claims jumped about 25 percent.

Progressive’s data shows:

  • A 76 percent increase in single-car rollovers.
  • A 59 percent increase in accidents involving one car running off the road and striking an object.
  • A 29 percent increase in accidents involving one car swerving to avoid something and hitting an object.
  • A 19 percent increase in accidents involving a single car striking an object in the road.

“We’ve all heard the phrase, ‘I’m my own worst enemy,’ and that phrase rings as true as ever on New Year’s Day,” Maria Cashy, claims customer service process leader at Progressive, says in a news release. “The large increase in single-vehicle claims could be attributed to a variety of factors such as icy streets, more people out on the roads or late-night driving. Regardless, the best thing you can do to keep yourself safe is stay off the road.”

If you are out on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day, Cashy recommends catching a cab or arranging for a designated driver.

“For taxi drivers, navigating the icy roads is the norm at this time of year,” Cashy says. “They know the spots to avoid, are accustomed to late-night driving and are used to crowded roadways.”

Progressive offers these tips if you find yourself in an accident on New Year’s Day or any other day:

  • Make sure you and your passengers are all right. Move as far off the road as possible, but stay at the accident scene. Warn oncoming traffic by activating your hazard warning lights or setting flares.
  • Call the police to report the accident.
  • Contact your insurance company to report the claim.
  • Do not discuss the car accident with anyone other than the police and your claims representative.
  • If you’re involved in a multicar crash, exchange information with the other drivers. Write down the names, addresses, phone numbers and license numbers for all drivers and witnesses. Also, ask for the name of the car insurance company and the number of the policy for each driver.

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