It’s that time of year when we all decide the improve ourselves. We set out New Year’s resolutions, usually designed to enhance our health or our appearance. Those are admirable goals for sure. But if you’ve been there and done that, year after year, you might be ready for something fresh – something that will polish your skills and keep you safe at the same time.
We’re talking about resolutions to become a better driver. To make it a little easier for you, click on READ MORE below for some suggested resolutions to keep you safe on the road...
Drivers are distracted in many ways, including everything from dealing with children, pets and other passengers, to operating the car’s climate controls, audio or navigation device, and from eating to old-fashioned map reading. However, by far the deadliest distractions come from talking on the cell phone and texting while driving. Moreover, using your cell phone while driving has been found to impair your ability to drive your car just as much as driving while drunk.
No matter what your distractions might be, they all fall into one of the following three categories according to which of your senses are distracted by the activity, and texting and other cell phone use combine all three.
According to research done by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over half a million people were injured and over 6000 people died because of distracted or inattentive drivers in 2008.
When so many injuries and deaths occur from such a cause – and the number is increasing, then it raises our collective awareness and repercussions occur.
Obviously, the situation threatens a rise in auto insurance costs because insurance companies must pay increasing numbers of payouts; and this could result in increased premiums for all of us. Therefore, insurers are taking part in the movement to control distracted drivers.
This growing problem has also captured the attention of industry because of the potential for lawsuits against employers for injuries and damage caused by employees who carry out their business by cell phone while they drive.
As a result, a cross-section of safety and industry organizations, including the NHTSA, have joined in a campaign against distracted driving. They are encouraging states to enact laws to prohibit texting while driving and have drafted a sample state law which was unveiled by U.S. Transportation Secretary, Ray LaHood, in February, 2010.
In fact, 19 states and the District of Columbia have texting laws in place covering all drivers, and others are pending. State laws vary, and below are some examples as reported by the Governors Highway Safety Association:
The public campaign to stop distracted driving – especially driving while texting and using a cell phone – is spreading, and the media is doing its part, as well. Here are just a couple of recent examples:
Whether you are a business owner, employer or just an individual concerned about your loved ones, you will want to minimize your risk by limiting your cell phone use and texting to non-driving time and by encouraging others who drive your vehicles to do the same.
No matter where you drive – from rural roads to suburban streets and even highways around our cities – the threat of a collision with a deer is real.
Deer collision accidents are on the rise, partially because the deer are being displaced from their natural habitat by urban sprawl but also because the deer population is growing.
In fact, the Insurance Information Institute reports that over 1 .6 million deer-vehicle collisions occur each year and these accidents cause vehicle damage, injuries and even fatalities at a cost in the neighborhood of $4.6 billion.