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Auto Insurance Tips Continued

Avoiding Road Rage

Emotions have a huge impact on driving. Long before starting your car, you've had to wake up, deal with morning stress, perhaps get your kids moving, and worry about work (including getting there on time). Now that you're already stressed out, you start driving and are faced with a variety of drivers who:

  • Cruise through intersections during a red light
  • Make quick left turns in front of oncoming traffic
  • Change lanes six times in the space of two city blocks
  • Tail-gate so closely that they threaten to weld their car onto your rear bumper
  • Ignore the changing light in order to adjust mascara, shave, eat or comb
  • Pay more attention to their cell-phone conversations

Such folks turn every day on the road into a test of patience and may even trigger a dangerous emotional response.

"Road rage" refers to driving incidents involving aggressive or violent behavior. Various sources have blamed increased traffic accidents and fatalities on road rage. Others debunk the term as a "fad," claiming that traffic statistics don't reflect increased violence on the part of drivers.

Every driver is guilty of acts that can be blamed on lapsed judgment. You or I may make a proper lane change or legally proceed through an intersection 99 out of 100 times. But those times when we do err, the drivers who witness our mistakes may assume that we're hopelessly inept or are doing something deliberate. Take a deep breath from behind your wheel and recognize that the driver who has just done something "stupid" is normally a decent driver.

It makes sense to give other drivers the benefit of the doubt. One reason is that it's earned. Most drivers do a terrific job on the road. Especially when you consider the dangers inherent in driving, such as traffic congestion, poor weather, time-pressures and routine road hazards (breakdowns, potholes, pedestrians, etc.)

A better reason for staying calm behind the wheel is that cool-headed drivers make better decisions. They have a better chance of avoiding or minimizing accidents. Finally, you may run into serious problems if you cause an accident while acting too aggressive. There's a greater chance of causing serious injury and a higher likelihood of legal consequences. You also increase your chances of being sued. Oh, and let's not forget that insurers aren't seeking to cover drivers who fail to use common sense.

Driving is tough enough without complicating it with rude or aggressive behavior and car insurance isn't free, so start your car, give other drivers a break, and keep a cool head. It's an attitude that creates the best chance of getting where you need to go....safely.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2019

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.

 

The Need for Rental Reimbursement


Generally, carrying both adequate liability and physical damage coverage on your vehicle will be enough protection in the aftermath of an accident. However, be sure that you don’t overlook Rental Reimbursement, as it is typically only offered as an option.

For example, an accident disables your car. Well, that happens. Your insurance company arranges for it to be repaired. Okay, that’s what you hoped would happen. Now you don’t have a car until it is back from being repaired or replaced. Hmm, maybe hadn’t thought about that.

Well, let’s think about it now. Perhaps you’re lucky and the temporary loss of a car is merely an inconvenience. You can just do without one for a while. However, that’s not likely. If you have a car, you have multiple reasons for its use. You have to commute for work, you go on trips, you take family members to school, recreational activities, you go shopping for clothes, groceries, you have to pick up dry cleaning….the list goes on. Even if you have access to public transportation; it may be inadequate for your demands for mobility. In other words, it may be fine for a work commute, but not for non-work and weekend needs. Even the best mass transit system will mean extra time and inconvenience.

The option that likely best meets your needs is rental reimbursement coverage. In most circumstances, coverage is quite affordable. Minimally rental reimbursement pays a daily and aggregate amount to assist with the cost of renting a vehicle during the time yours is unavailable. A common coverage situation is to pay, say up to $20 a day for a total of 30 days ($600). Many companies also have offer options to increase the daily and aggregate amounts, such as $30 daily/$900 aggregate.

The option is well worth considering since few would want to have to deal with an additional expense after an accident. There are other benefits often available with rental reimbursement coverage. Many insurance companies make deals with different auto rental companies so that daily rates are either under or close to the amount of protection they provide. The deals often include expedited service, such as reserving a car on your behalf. Another advantage is that some insurers may offer rental reimbursement in a package with other, handy coverages such as roadside assistance.

If you wish to make sure your insurance protection serves you properly, it’s smart to look into getting rental reimbursement. The cost and time you say will be your own.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2019

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.

 

Don’t Risk Underride Collisions


It’s important for drivers to recognize a particular danger posed by large trucks – underride accidents. When following larger vehicles, you lose the protection of a car’s primary safety feature, the bumper. Depending upon circumstances, a truck’s undercarriage could be more than a foot higher. A smaller vehicle that rear-ends a large truck or truck trailer does not crash into, but under the larger vehicle.

Underride accidents result in hundreds of fatalities every year. Further, even when occupants of smaller vehicles survive, their injuries are far more severe, often life changing. Underride accidents involve the smaller vehicle being crushed or having its roofs sheared off, with horrifying results such as severe disfigurement, spinal injuries and head trauma.

The danger of underride collision is supposed to be minimized by truck trailers using underride guards (also called rear impact guards). However, the federal standards for such guards are, currently, insufficient. Even at modest speeds, cars colliding with either moving or parked trailers can easily slide underneath. Besides the problem of inadequate guard strength, there is no standard of guard design. Some guards end up being, for all intents, ornamental.

What it comes down to is doing what you can to avoid this danger and that is, don’t follow big rigs closely. As much as is practical under given circumstances, put more space between you and any large truck. When driving conditions worsen (nighttime, fog, rain, snow) increase the distance even more. Changed conditions increase the chances that a trucker may slow down his rig; so that increases the chance of an accident. At a minimum, you should maintain enough distance that you can be clearly seen in a trucker’s mirror. If you’re going to pass a truck, consider changing lanes sooner and passing as quickly and safely as conditions allow. Don’t accelerate into or linger in a truck’s blind spot.

More research is being done on how to make underride guards more effective, but that could take years and, regardless, the truck you’re following may not have them installed at the time of an accident. Your best bet is to use driving habits that reduce your chances of visiting the underside of a big rig. Stay away from them….the risk of underride is too high!


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2019

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.