Friday, April 1, 2011

The Fine Print for the Progressive Snapshot program

Things to know before you sign up.

It seems to be mostly about hard braking as well as how much you drive in the medium risk times of rush hours and high risk of midnight to 4am

Since I don't brake hard, have a rush hour commute or drive late at night, I expected a great discount. Imagine my shock when I looked online for my log and discovered I had 15 'hard brakes' the first day.

When they say 'hard brake' they seem to pretty much mean, using your brakes.  It is defined as 'as any time you slow down by seven or more miles per hour in one second.'  Apparently that's easy to do with normal, conservative driving. Either that or the devise doesn't work right.

I have been advised that in order to avoid hard brakes, I should avoid:
• Following too closely
• Passing frequently
• Accelerating rapidly

But I do none of those things.  I did none of those things the day I was logged as having 15 'hard brakes.'  I drive to conserve gasoline.  I coast to most stops. My brake pads last forever.

The device is supposed to emit an audible beep to let you know when you've committed a 'hard brake.' But it wasn't activated on mine.  Supposedly it will be in 24-48 hours. And we'll see if that helps figure out what they consider to be too 'hard.' 

The online log records trips defined as from the time the engine starts to when it's turned off, duration and mileage of the trips, and hard brakes. I combine trips a lot. But they tell me this is not a negative. They look at the mileage and time of day.

The Medium Risk period is another thing they don't clearly tell you, but from their graphs of all my 'hard braking', it looks to be from 7 to 9 am and 3 to 6 pm.  High risk is Midnight to 4am.

This program might not be beneficial for anyone living and driving in an urban area with a lot of stop signs.  Even if you hardly go anywhere on a regular basis, just driving through your neighborhood to drop off and pick up kids from school during the medium risk hours with all that braking...

Edit: So the audible signal was on by the time I took the car out that day.  But even with driving carefully, I've had 1 so called hard brake each day.  I really think there's something wrong.  This was almost all urban and residential driving with no traffic.  I was rarely driving more than 35 and usually slower.  And other than one exit from a freeway with a short distance to the first red light which it recorded as a hard brake, I don't see how, without slamming on brakes, I ever reduced speed faster than 7mph per second.
blog comments powered by Disqus