Texting & Driving Puts Lives at Risk

A Florida driver sent or received upwards of 50 text messages during a one-hour commute to work. And yes, the story ends as badly as you might imagine. The driver hit another vehicle head on and two people were killed.

Roughly 3,000 people die each year from what is described as “distracted” driving. It includes more than just texting but texting is probably the biggest distraction most drivers face. There are other distractions on the road – women putting on make up, checking Facebook or the internet, and people reading things other than phone texts. I saw one driver reading a book once. Those with a GPS may be tempted to drive while typing an address into their GPS.

A movie theatre that we frequent has a rather obnoxious direct message before the movie begins. It tells the audience to not text or even have the bright light of their phone visible during the movie because it distracts other movie goers. The message even goes so far to let you know they will ask you to leave the facility.

While a movie theatre is not the same as driving a car the hope (by me) is that announcements such as this will be another reminder of how texting can interfere with the lives of other people. I only wish this movie theater would add another line to remind people to not text and drive – in addition to not text and watch their movie.

Terrifying Insurance Words

I read an article that talked about words that you do not want to hear or see when it relates to your insurance.

1) Surcharge – meaning you have done something to cause your insurance premium to go up. The most common reason is an at-fault accident. But some insurance carriers can raise your rates for a speeding ticket too.

2) SR22 – is a financial responsibility form that shows you have at least basic Arizona auto insurance. Unfortunately, if you ever need an SR22 you will pay higher premiums. A DUI (for example) may cause you to need an SR22. Or driving without insurance may cause you to need it. An SR22 stays on your record for a few years. If you let your auto insurance lapse this period begins anew.

3) Teenager – all of us with kids who have reached driving age know and understand this all too well. Youthful drivers cause many more accidents than older drivers. As a result they cause insurance premiums to rise. If you are a parent with a teen driver you probably cover the added cost out of your pocket. I feel your pain with two young adults.

4) Non-Standard – Many consumers are not aware there even is such a thing as standard auto insurance companies and non-standard auto insurance companies. Premiums are generally higher with a non-standard carrier. If you have had incidents on your driving record you may be with a non-standard carrier. That does not mean you are stuck with a non-standard carrier forever.

Contact your Arizona independent insurance agent or insurance broker and let them re-shop your auto insurance, even if you like your current agent. We will work hard to give you great customer service so the real question is how much money we can save you.

Even if you must remain with a non-standard carrier sometimes you may find a different non-standard carrier offering a lower rate. This is why you always want to use an independent insurance agent who can compare and shop around on your behalf.