Driving Distracted? It can Affect Your Insurance Rate

Feb 20th, 2009 | By Hot News Reporter | Category: Insurance Today

(ARA) – The number of tasks that distract us while driving is growing. Who hasn’t spent their commute talking on the cell phone, switching songs on an mp3 player, texting or plugging an address into the GPS? While it may not seem like a big deal, distracted driving is dangerous and can even be deadly.

As much as 80 percent of car crashes involve a driver who was distracted 3 seconds before the accident, according to the California Department of Motor Vehicles. Worse, studies have shown that a driver holding a cell phone can be as dangerous as a drunk driver.
Anything that takes your hands off the wheel or your eyes and mind away from the road is a distraction. And while you might not think playing with the radio is much of a diversion, losing focus for even a few seconds is all it takes to cause an accident.

You driving record is the one factor that has the greatest impact in affecting your auto insurance rate. If you’ve been involved in a car accident and it goes on your record, your auto insurance company will see you as a risky driver to insure. Your insurance rate can jump as much as 40 percent.

The Insurance Information Institute suggests these tips to eliminate driving distractions:

– Don’t eat and drink while driving. Spills can cause accidents and you can also be burned by hot beverages.
– Do not use your car mirrors to shave, put on makeup, comb your hair or otherwise primp and preen.
– Don’t take notes while driving. If you need to jot something down, use a tape recorder or pull over to the side of the road.
– Do not talk or text while driving. If you must place a call, pull off the road to a safe location. If your phone rings, let your voice mail pick up. It’s safer and easier to retrieve your messages later.
– Be aware of other distracted drivers on the road and watch out for cars weaving in and out of lanes.
– When in doubt, ask yourself if you would feel safe on the road seeing another driver doing the same thing you are.

If you successfully avoid distractions while driving and have a clean record, you could be rewarded with a discount on your auto insurance. Check your insurance rates and compare regularly at Insweb.com to find out if you’re getting the best deal and even save money.


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