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Increased traffic could impact auto insurance rates

Posted On Thu, September 3, 2009

Traffic is said to be increasing as the school year gets underway and with the economy showing new signs of life, which could have ramifications for the cost of auto insurance.

According to the INRIX National Traffic Scorecard, traffic congestion has been rising recently in many cities after hitting a lull during the second quarter of the year. The company noted that along with the previously mentioned factors, the beginning of stimulus-funded highway and road construction projects was also having an effect on the situation.

"Traffic is a great indicator of the pulse of the economy and as the economy improves we expect gridlock to head towards 2007’s record levels as people return to work, freight transportation increases, and consumers switch back to vacations from staycations," said INRIX CEO Bryan Mistele.

Overall, 64 of the 100 largest metro areas in the country experienced increases in traffic congestion this year. Las Vegas was said to see the largest such increase in travel times during peak commuting times, while other cities experiencing such increases included Baton Rouge and Washington D.C.

Along with serving as an economic indicator, auto insurance companies also take great interest in congestion statistics because of the increased number of crashes that are likely as a result.
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