Tips To Prevent Distracted Driving

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, nine people are killed and more than 1,000 are injured every day in crashes as a result of distracted drivers. With the number of distracted drivers on the rise, it’s important to remember that when you drive distracted, not only are you putting yourself at risk, but you’re also risking the lives of everyone else on the road around you. In fact, even if you check your phone or reach for something in your car while you’re at a stoplight, you remain distracted on average for the next 27 seconds.

In honor of Distracted Driving Awareness Month, we want to offer some tips to help you keep yourself and your family safe on the road. These tips are applicable to any driver with any level of experience, and can reduce your risk of a distracted driving related accident while helping you develop safer driving habits.

What qualifies as distracted driving?

Cell phone use is often the top concern when it comes to distracted driving, but did you know there are actually three main categories of distractions: cognitive, manual, and visual? Cognitive distractions occur when your mind isn’t focused on the task of driving — for example, if you were driving while deep in thought about a problem at work or home. A manual distraction is when your hands come off the steering wheel for any period of time — for example, if you’re on a cell phone or reaching for something in the backseat. A visual distraction is when you take your eyes off the road. This could be to look at a notification on your phone or a child in the backseat of your car. Often times, common dangerous driving behaviors incorporate multiple types of distractions — exponentially increasing your risk of an accident.

What are the implications of distracted driving?

Did you know that sending or reading text that takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds is equivalent to driving the length on a football field with your eyes closed? Even the smallest distraction can have major implications and result in a tragic accident. According to AAA, “Over 84% of drivers recognize the danger from cell phone distractions and find it ‘unacceptable’ that drivers text or send email while driving. Nevertheless, 36% of these same people admit to having read or sent a text message or e-mail while driving in the previous month.” Teen drivers are especially at risk on the road and are the largest age group for accidents related to distracted driving at 58%.

Tips to reduce distracted driving behaviors

  • Set your GPS before turning on your car and only adjust your route if your car is in a parked position.
  • Turn your phone on “airplane” or “Do Not Disturb” mode to eliminate notifications and reduce the urge to check your phone.
  • Keep your phone in the back seat or tucked into your center console if you think you’ll be tempted to reach for it.
  • If driving with young kids or pets, make sure they’re properly secured in a seat or crate and not roaming around the car.
  • Eat your meal before you get in the car or pull over and park to eat if needed.
  • Keep items you may need accessible, such as beverages, sunglasses, or tissues, so you don’t need to rummage around for them while driving.
  • Let your passengers act as support instead of a distraction — they can do things like change the music, update your GPS, or help passengers in the backseat so you don’t have to.
  • Check in with family, friends, or employers before driving so they know you won’t be able to take calls.

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Tips to Create a Home Inventory

Spring is in the air…finally! After what felt like an endless winter, we’re finally getting closer to warmer temperatures and blooming flowers. No spring season is complete, however, without a little cleaning. If you’re planning on doing some organizing, scrubbing, and disinfecting, it’s also the perfect time to conduct or update your home inventory. Keeping an inventory of your personal belongings will help you and your independent insurance agent make sure you have enough personal property coverage on your home insurance policy and can put your mind at ease if something were to happen to your home, such as a fire, flood, or theft. In the event you experience an emergency like this, having a home inventory on hand can help make the claims process easier. Continue reading “Tips to Create a Home Inventory”

Tips For Protecting Your Valuables

Did you know that your homeowners insurance policy alone may not be enough to protect certain valuables? While homeowners insurance does cover your belongings, these policies have limits — meaning items valued beyond the limits of your policy may not be fully covered in the event of a claim. Luckily, there are a few options for homeowners to ensure their valuables are protected in the event of the unexpected. Continue reading “Tips For Protecting Your Valuables”

Tips For Preventing Ice Dams

As we head deeper into winter, we want to make sure your home is ready for the weather that comes along with it. One of the biggest winter hassles for homeowners in New England comes in the form of ice dams. Beyond damaging your roof and gutters, ice dams can also lead to serious water damage within your home, which is why we wanted to make sure you understand what they are, how they form, and what you can do to prevent them.

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