It makes sense that people who spend less time behind the wheel of a car would also be associated with a lower car accident risk because there’s less exposure to accident chances. However, a person who doesn’t drive that often might not be as experienced with how to navigate traffic, bad weather, or other conditions. Although driving is a skill likely to stick with you for years, lack of practice can make you more nervous on the road, too.
People who drive less may work at home or be able to use other transportation options to get where they need to go. It might seem safer to leave the car in the garage or to skip owning one at all given the number of serious car accidents. Lowering accident risk is a worthwhile goal.
Many of these people also assume they are entitled to a lower car insurance rate because of a reduced accident risk. However, research that was recently released by the Consumer Federation of America found that major auto insurance providers don’t give valuable discounts to low mileage drivers, despite the fact that those drivers are associated with a lower accident risk.
The study explored basic liability coverage offerings from major insurers across 12 U.S. cities like Baltimore, Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Oklahoma City and Houston. The study found that motorists may only save up to $30 per year or 1.6% of their total car insurance premiums for each 5,000 fewer miles driven on an annual basis.
However, the state laws in California ensure that insurance companies must give a driver’s annual mileage the second most weight in determining premiums, according to the Federation. Those drivers in California who go 5,000 miles or less annually save up to $81 year on average, representing 8.7% across those studied insurance providers.