A lead foot can lead to a lighter wallet

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90 Percent of Drivers Surveyed Admit to Speeding; Tickets Can Increase Auto Insurance Rates By As Much As 25 Percent Or More

MAYFIELD VILLAGE, Ohio — March 1, 2004 — Usually it’s because they have a long way to go and a short time to get there. Sometimes they do it because they’re late for work. Or maybe they know Officer Friendly is nowhere in sight. “Lead foot” drivers typically have an excuse, but when the long arm of the law catches up to them, speeders may pay for their haste when it’s time to buy or renew their auto insurance.

“How one speeding ticket affects a person’s auto insurance rate depends upon a lot of other information about that driver, their vehicle and their driving history,” said Tom Hollyer, product development manager, Progressive. “Some people will see no rate increase or a small increase while others may see rates increase by 25 percent or more.”

A lot of drivers may be putting themselves at risk for being cited for speeding, which may result in higher auto insurance rates. A national survey of more than 1,000 drivers, conducted by the Progressive group of insurance companies, found that 90 percent of respondents drive over the posted speed limit and 39 percent speed more than 25 percent of the time they’re behind the wheel. And, nearly half of respondents weren’t aware of the potential affect of a speeding ticket on auto insurance rates.

“We want people to better understand what goes into their car insurance rate,” said Hollyer. “Auto insurance companies base their rates on their expected cost of doing business. To calculate rates, auto insurance companies consider information they have found to be predictive of future losses, including driving record violations. At Progressive, our data show that drivers who have had a speeding ticket in the past are more likely to have an at-fault accident in the future, so we use this information when calculating rates.”

Respondents to Progressive’s survey said safety concerns (46 percent) was the greatest deterrent to speeding, followed by the thought of getting a ticket (23 percent) and having to pay more for auto insurance (14 percent) . However, 15 percent of drivers who said safety concerns deterred them from speeding and 26 percent of drivers who were deterred by having to pay more for auto insurance also said they drove over the posted speed limit more than 50 percent of the time they’re behind the wheel.

And when asked when they generally speed, drivers said they were most likely to speed while driving late at night (25 percent), followed by during morning rush hour (22 percent) and evening rush hour (10 percent) . They were also twice as likely to drive over the posted speed limit while driving long distances (60 percent) than when driving to and from work (30 percent ).

“The more informed people are about auto insurance, the better,” said Hollyer. “People can better control the cost of their auto insurance and make smarter buying decisions if they understand the connection between driving behavior and rates.”

The Progressive group of insurance companies, in business since 1937, ranks third in the nation for auto insurance based on premiums written and provides drivers with competitive rates and 24/7, in-person and online service. The companies offer insurance by phone at 1-800-PROGRESSIVE, online at progressive.com and through more than 30,000 independent insurance agencies in the U.S. Providing stakeholders the information they need to make more informed decisions is a key company strategy. In 1994, Progressive became the first auto insurance company to provide its rates alongside the rates of other companies so consumers could easily compare and decide. In 2001, Progressive became the first Fortune 500 company to report operating results monthly and in August 2003 the Company began reporting earnings per share monthly. The Common Shares of the Progressive Corporation, the Mayfield Village, Ohio-based holding company, are publicly traded at NYSE:PGR. More information about the company can be found at progressive.com.

Did You Know…

According to a countrywide survey by Progressive Insurance

Overall Survey Results

But Everyone Does It
Ninety (90) percent of respondents said they drive over the posted speed limit and 39 percent said they drive over the posted speed limit more than 25 percent of the time.

Late Night Speeders
Drivers were most likely to speed while driving late at night (25 percent), followed by during morning rush hour (22 percent) and evening rush hour (10 percent).

Curbing Your Speed
Safety concerns was the largest deterrent to speeding (46 percent), followed by the thought of getting a ticket (23 percent) and having to pay more for auto insurance (14 percent).

However, 15 percent of drivers who said safety concerns deterred them from speeding and 26 percent of drivers who were deterred by having to pay more for auto insurance also said they drove over the posted speed limit more than 50 percent of the time they’re behind the wheel.

Does It, Or Doesn’t It?
When asked if being cited for speeding affects a driver’s auto insurance rate, 38 percent said sometimes and seven percent said never.

The Further The Faster
Drivers were twice as likely to drive over the posted speed limit when driving long distances (60 percent) than when driving to and from work (30 percent).

Top 5 Reasons Drivers Are Deterred from Driving Over the Posted Speed Limit

  • Safety concerns (46 percent)
  • Getting a ticket (23 percent)
  • Paying more for auto insurance (14 percent)
  • Knowing where police hide to catch speeders (eight percent)
  • Getting points on their license (six percent)

Top 5 Reasons Drivers Drive Over the Posted Speed Limit

  • Driving long distances (60 percent)
  • Running late for an appointment, to meet friends, etc. (57 percent)
  • Driving on familiar roads police rarely patrol (44 percent)
  • Driving to/from work (30 percent)
  • Feeling anxious/tired (14 percent)

Demographic Survey Results

Speed Demons
Men were more likely than women to say they drive over the posted speed limit more than 25 percent of the time (42 percent compared to 36 percent, respectively).

Gender Differences
Women were more likely than men to drive over the posted speed limit during morning rush hour (26 percent compared to 18 percent, respectively), although men were more likely than women to drive over the posted speed limit late at night (32 percent compared to 19 percent, respectively).

And, women were more likely than men to be deterred from driving over the posted speed limit due to safety concerns (50 percent compared to 40 percent, respectively); although men were more likely than women to be deterred from driving over the posted speed limit if it meant paying more for auto insurance (17 percent compared to 11 percent, respectively).

The “Age” Old Debate
Younger drivers (ages 18-24) were more than two times as likely than older drivers (55 years and older) to say they drive over the posted speed limit more than 25 percent of the time they’re behind the wheel (66 percent compared to 26 percent, respectively).

And, while older drivers (55 years and older) were more likely than younger drivers (ages 18-24) to be deterred from driving over the posted speed limit due to safety concerns (48 percent compared to 33 percent, respectively), the opposite was true when it came to the thought of getting a ticket (24 percent compared to 29 percent, respectively) and paying more for auto insurance (15 percent compared to 17 percent, respectively).

Road Trip Speeding
Eighty-seven (87) percent of respondents who drive over the posted speed limit more than 75 percent of the time tend to speed the most when driving long distances.

Top 5 Reasons Drivers Drive Over the Posted Speed Limit: Comparing Male vs. Female Drivers
Male Drivers Female Drivers
  1. Driving long distances (66 percent)
  2. Running late for an appointment, to meet friends, etc. (56 percent)
  3. Driving on familiar roads police rarely patrol (46 percent)
  4. Driving to/from work (32 percent)
  5. Feeling anxious/tired (14 percent)
  1. Running late for an appointment, to meet friends, etc. (57 percent)
  2. Driving long distances (55 percent)
  3. Driving on familiar roads police rarely patrol (42 percent)
  4. Driving to/from work (29 percent)
  5. Feeling anxious/tired (15 percent)
Top 5 Reasons Drivers Drive Over the Posted Speed Limit: Comparing Older (55 years and older) vs. Younger (ages 18-24) Drivers
Older Drivers Younger Drivers
  1. Driving long distances (50 percent)
  2. Running late for an appointment, to meet friends, etc. (42 percent)
  3. Driving on familiar roads police rarely patrol (30 percent)
  4. Driving to/from work (17 percent)
  5. Feeling anxious/tired (nine percent)
  1. Running late for an appointment, to meet friends, etc. (75 percent)
  2. Driving on familiar roads police rarely patrol (65 percent)
  3. Driving long distances (62 percent)
  4. Driving to/from work (56 percent)
  5. Feeling anxious/tired (19 percent)