Driving is one of the activities that we do so often, and we sometimes take for granted how dangerous it is. Getting behind the wheel takes confidence and skill.
Because so much of society overlooks the dangers of driving, there aren’t a lot of external reminders to drive safely — something we could all use once in a while.
People love financial motivation to perform better in any walk of life, so insurance companies like Nationwide have taken the initiative to encourage better driving with their SmartRide technology.
We’ll cover how Nationwide and other insurance companies use this technology to track your driving habits, whether monetary rewards live up to the hype, and how SmartRide used in cars and trucks could improve safety even more in the future.
A Summary of SmartRide Technology
What is a SmartRide device? It usually takes two different forms, depending on what the driver prefers to have in their car.
One option is you can choose to install a device that plugs into your vehicle that uses telematics to track your vehicle’s location, speed, and orientation compared to the others on the road. The technology will come to understand whether you are going over the speed limit or driving too close to others, among other things.
For others, it may be easier to install an app on your phone that will do much of the same tracking that the installed device does. You also don’t have to worry about putting technology you don’t own inside your car.
The use of phones to monitor your driving habits is a simple extension of the technological revolution that has extended into smart home technology, businesses, and various other lifestyles in modern society.
Are the discounts worth it?
Many companies like Nationwide claim that you can save up to 40% on your auto insurance policy as a reward for recording safe driving with the device. This estimation is overly optimistic, with users of the promotion recording only 10% to 15% discounts at maximum as a reward for safe driving.
Any discount is a good one, though, right? There isn’t a downside to the technology, as most companies will not penalize you for the recorded mistakes using the apps and devices.
If you are concerned about privacy, there is no recorded evidence or horror stories of insurance companies stealing information using smart technology. Still, in an age where everyone is paranoid about being watched or recorded, these rumors can damage the smart device policies.
Note that not all cars are eligible for the plug-in installation of the device. The technology and specs on older vehicles may be too outdated.
What is the motive for Nationwide to distribute SmartRide devices?
Nationwide, like all insurance companies, is a business that wants to make money above all else. Encouraging safer driving habits from their customers will result in fewer car accidents. This is great for business as fewer insurance claims will be filed, and the insurance companies can save money in the long term.
Companies like Nationwide have no incentive to trick you into doing something that you don’t want to do. They won’t use your information to do anything other than what they claim to: save you money on your policy.
Nationwide is not the only company that uses smart device technology for these tracking purposes, but they do provide some of the best rates and incentives for good driving habits. They routinely rank higher than competitors for insurance customers who have clean driving records.
The Verdict on Smart Device Installation
After looking at the specifics of the available smart device options, it is up to you whether the pros outweigh the cons. As far as we are concerned, there really is nothing that should discourage you from at least trying this feature.
There are no extra fees or hiked premiums if you don’t improve your driving. The program will motivate you to drive safer, brake easier, and decrease speed. These are habits that you should have already developed through the years to become a safe driver and avoiding getting points on your license.
If you feel like it is an invasion of privacy, there are no concrete details to prove this theory. All you can do is research what is best for you and your family.
If you feel that having a device to monitor your driving may make you more nervous, perhaps you shouldn’t install it. Being tested or looked over makes many people overcompensate, so that is something you must keep in mind if you struggled with other similar things in the past.
Shawn Laib writes and researches for the auto insurance comparison site, ExpertInsuranceReviews.com. He enjoys helping drivers understand how to fix the problems that can arrive when you drive on a daily basis.