WHAT’S UP WEDNESDAY: 02/09/22

Wednesday, February 09, 2022

For more than two decades, speeding has been involved in approximately one-third of all motor vehicle fatalities. In 2019, speeding was a contributing factor in 26% of all traffic fatalities.

Speed also affects your safety even when you are driving at the speed limit but too fast for road conditions, such as during bad weather, when a road is under repair, or in an area at night that isn’t well lit.

Several factors have contributed to an overall rise in speeding:

Traffic

Traffic congestion is one of the most frequently mentioned contributing factors to aggressive driving, such as speeding. Drivers may respond by using aggressive driving behaviors, including speeding, changing lanes frequently, or becoming angry at anyone who they believe impedes their progress.

Running Late

Some people drive aggressively because they have too much to do and are “running late” for work, school, their next meeting, lesson, soccer game, or another appointment.

Anonymity

A motor vehicle insulates the driver from the world. Shielded from the outside environment, a driver can develop a sense of detachment, as if an observer of their surroundings, rather than a participant. This can lead to some people feeling less constrained in their behavior when they cannot be seen by others and/or when it is unlikely that they will ever again see those who witness their behavior.

Disregard for Others and the Law

Most motorists rarely drive aggressively, and some never do. For others, episodes of aggressive driving are frequent, and for a small proportion of motorists, it is their usual driving behavior. Occasional episodes of aggressive driving–such as speeding and changing lanes abruptly–might occur in response to specific situations, like when the driver is late for an important appointment but is not the driver’s normal behavior.
If it seems that there are more cases of rude and outrageous behavior on the road now than in the past, the observation is correct—if for no other reason then there are more drivers driving more miles on the same roads than ever before.

Speeding is more than just breaking the law. The consequences are far-ranging:

  • Greater potential for loss of vehicle control;
  • Reduced effectiveness of occupant protection equipment;
  • Increased stopping distance after the driver perceives a danger;
  • Increased degree of crash severity leading to more severe injuries;
  • Economic implications of a speed-related crash;
  • Increased fuel consumption/cost.

Speeding endangers not only the life of the speeder but all of the people on the road around them, including law enforcement officers. It is a problem we all need to help solve.


WHAT’S UP WEDNESDAY: 02/02/22

Wednesday, February 02, 2022

Let’s face it: accidents happen. And when they do, we’re looking at car repairs, possible injuries, and possible increases to our insurance premium. Safe driving can go a long way in keeping everyone safe and our premium in check. Here are some common car accidents and tips on how to help avoid them:

1. Rear-end Collisions

Rear-end collisions are a common reason for auto insurance claims. Whether you are the driver who hits a vehicle in front of you, or the driver who gets hit by a vehicle behind you, these accidents can often be avoided. Consider these tips:

  •  Keep your distance. Drive far enough behind the car in front of you so you can stop safely. This is especially true in inclement weather. Stay at least three seconds behind the vehicle ahead of you, and longer if you’re in a heavier vehicle. Extend the timing when weather conditions are bad.
  •  Drive strategically. Avoid situations that could force you to suddenly use your brakes. If a driver is following you too closely or isn’t paying attention, you might be rear-ended.
  •  Don’t get distracted. Never take your eyes off the road to eat, read a text message or find your phone. If the driver ahead of you stops suddenly, it only takes a second or less of not paying attention to rear-end their vehicle.
  •  Don’t drive when drowsy or under the influence. You’re more likely to make driving errors when you’re sleepy or impaired by drugs or alcohol.

2. Single-vehicle Accidents

Single-vehicle losses include collisions with road barriers, debris, or animals, in addition to rollovers and accidents when driving off-road. It’s not hard to help prevent them.

  • Drive right for the weather. Even if yours is the only vehicle on the road on a rainy, stormy, or foggy day, drive at speeds that allow you to maintain control.
  • Always pay attention. Just because you’re the only person on the road doesn’t mean it’s okay to text, make hands-on phone calls or eat while driving. You never know when conditions might change.
  • Don’t drive too fast. Speeding has been involved in approximately one-third of all motor vehicle fatalities for more than two decades. Simply put, speeding is dangerous, even if there is no one else around you.

3. Windshield Damage

Chips and cracks to vehicle windshields are a common auto accident that many drivers don’t realize they can help prevent. Most windshield damage happens when rocks and stones are thrown up in the air by other vehicles. Help prevent this damage by keeping your distance from cars and trucks.