Car Accidents - A Problem Close to Home (Part Two)

This is post two of two in a series explaining the implications of living in a neighborhood where car insurance rates are unusually high.

While typically nobody is going to change where they live just to improve their rates, there are some action items you can take to help reduce your rates if you find you truly do live in an area that does not shine brightly on your pocket book. Some of these suggestions tend to be no-brainers but many people in reality don’t take them seriously enough to make them a priority. First of all, you can make sure that you drive safely. Having an accident can make your insurance rates go up in a heartbeat. You should also do your best to avoid getting tickets, since this can adversely affect your rates as well. Cutting back the amount of miles you drive can get you a discount on your policy as well as parking your car in the garage fulltime, or even the driveway. A little bit here, a little improvement there can add up to big-time savings over the long haul.

Yes, surprisingly the majority of accidents do occur close to home, but this does not mean that you cannot still find reasonable rates on your policy. If you feel that you’re still paying too much for car insurance in your area, then take some time and check around, get some other price quotes from other companies. This should be done at least once per year regardless. Sit down with your agent and discuss all the ways you can reduce your rates, from adjusting your policy, to grouping policies together, to keeping your agent updated on changes that are happening in your life and your family’s circumstances that might reduce your rates. While insurance policies may be more expensive in your area, you can contribute to lowering your rates via many other avenues if you do your due diligence.

Car Accidents - A Problem Close to Home

This is post one of two in a series explaining the implications of living in a neighborhood where  rates are unusually high.

Some people may not realize that one of the defining factors that help determine rates is where you live. While there are a number of factors that dictate how much you will pay for your premium, location is a big one. Car insurance companies usually take into consideration how many accidents occur in your neighborhood, the level of traffic as well as average number of car thefts that take place in the area you live when determining your rates. The bottom line, as you’ll see below, is that you’re more likely to have an accident when driving near home, and if your area reflects a higher level of risk, then your  rates are going to take a hit.

While you may have heard in the past that the majority of car accidents occur quite close to home, you may not have realized that this is more than just an urban myth. In reality, statistics show that more than 50% of accidents occur within five miles of where a driver lives, and astoundingly more than 75% of all accidents happen within fifteen miles of home. Many are worried about their risk of having an accident on trips away from home but statistics show that only 1% of all automobile accidents occur more than fifty miles from home.

This is post two of two in a series listing wise driving tips to pass on to your teenagers as they’re learning to drive.

Tip 3 - Always Buckle-Up
It is important that you teach your child the importance of wearing a seat belt. Yours truly was saved when I was young because I was wearing a seat belt during an accident. Almost all states require that you wear a seat belt, and failing to do so can not only be dangerous, it can lead to getting a ticket. Make sure that you teach your child by example, and stress that not only should they be buckled up, but all passengers should be buckled before the vehicle starts moving as well. In some states, by law the driver is responsible for the other passengers having their seat belts on when the car is moving.

Tip 4 - Never Drink and Drive
While teenage drinking is against the law, more than likely your teen is going to come in contact with it at some point. Make sure you let your teen know that drinking underage is a serious offense, and that drinking while driving can be deadly. Warn them against riding with other friends who may have been drinking as well. Even though alcohol is illegal for teens, there are many teen accidents that are a result of drinking and driving, so be sure to talk this over with your new teen driver.

Tip 5 - Follow the Speed Limit
Ignoring the speed limit causes many teenage car crashes. Be sure that you teach your child that the speed limit is more than a suggestion - it’s the law! Remind your child that getting a speeding ticket can raise their rates as well as the likelihood of them being in an accident as well. Having an accident will also raise rates as well. Teach your teen that no matter what their friend or other drivers are doing, it is important that they obey the speed limit. Incorporate consequences into getting a speeding ticket such as loss of driving privileges.

 5 Driving Tips Every Parent Should Teach Their Teen

This is post one of two in a series listing wise driving tips to pass on to your teenagers as they’re learning to drive.

Studies show that vehicle accidents rank as the number one cause of death in teenagers. It is important that parents start taking measures to change this to avoid having their teen end up as one of these tragic statistics. Before you allow your teenager to start driving, you as a parent need to start teaching them important driving lessons that will keep them safe. Taking the time to teach your child important driving tips and how to be responsible and considerate behind the wheel can help your teen avoid accidents, tickets, high rates, and it can even save lives.

Tip 1 - Defensive Driving
One of the reasons that teens have so many accidents is because they take risks when they’re driving. It is important that you teach your teen to drive defensively and to always try to anticipate what other drivers are going to do. It is also important that they learn to keep their emotions in check. Teaching your child to avoid tailgating, use turn signals, drive for weather conditions, and to beware of erratic drivers can help keep them safe when on the road.

Tip 2 - Avoid Distractions While Driving
Another important tip that you need to teach your teenage driver is to try and limit unnecessary distractions when driving. Simple things like telling them to avoid eating while driving, pulling over to take a mobile phone call, not putting their makeup on when driving, not having the music cranked up too high so they can hear sirens, and limiting the passengers allowed in the car can help keep your teen safer.

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