“You've got mail” says your cell phone from the passenger seat. You put your hand out to pick it up, shoving aside today's mail, your car insurance statement, and a candy bar you were saving for later. Your car swerves a little and you have to hit the brakes at the upcoming light harder than you would have had you left the phone alone. You sigh; thankful you didn't cause an accident, not even thinking about how your actions could have cost you more money on your car insurance.
Most people believe that they can make a call, send a text message, and multi-task through a plethora of other activities while driving down the road. This is especially true when one drives the same road day after day to and from work. Distractions are just part of the every day journey, so we just learn to deal with them, right? However, learning to drive without becoming distracted not only saves drivers money on car insurance, but most importantly, it can save lives.
According to the National Safety Council, driver distractions cause 80% of all collisions. When you consider that traffic collisions are the number one cause of death in the United States, it makes you realize just how much of a priority getting rid of the distractions while driving really is. This is especially true for insurance companies who usually end up footing the bill for the over $40 billion spent on car wrecks caused by cell phones every year.
In fact, the distractions of cell phones have become so bad in the recent years that some businesses have instituted a “no cell” policy while driving. Employees caught using cell phones while driving company vehicles can be fired for even a first offense. While this keeps everyone involved driving safely, there is no doubt that this policy will offer a discount on the company's car insurance rates.
What distractions should one avoid while driving? Using the cell phone for talking or texting is at the top of that list. However, other factors also cause distractions while driving. These distractions include, but are not limited to, radios, climate control, car maintenance issues (such as a loose sun visor), eating, smoking, and even carrying passengers.
Surely one can not give up these things entirely, can they? If drivers think about which of these distractions they could live without if it meant lowing their car insurance rates, they may be able to stop themselves from reaching for the phone or grabbing a bite to eat on the run. All claims, even small ones, count against a driver's car insurance records, giving their car insurance company the right to raise their rates, or worse, cancel their insurance altogether.