WHAT THE LAW MEANS FOR DRIVERS
WHAT DRIVERS NEED TO KNOW
It’s a question for the ages: which state holds the dubious distinction of housing America’s worst drivers? Just in time for increased summer holiday traffic and related accident claims, SmartAsset.com has the answer.
Researchers with the group trawled through National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data to craft rankings based on the percentage of insured drivers in the state; DUI arrests per 1,000 drivers; vehicular-related deaths per 1,000 drivers; and Google trends on automobile ticket-related searches.
According to that methodology, the states with the worst drivers in the country are:
There are some interesting regional patterns here. The South and Southeast regions of the US account for six of the top 10 states, with common problems including DUI and lack of insurance. Only 74% of drivers in Oklahoma are insured – the worst rate in the nation – followed by Florida and Tennessee.
Florida also tops other states in its Google searches for “speeding tickets” and “traffic tickets,” perhaps leading to its status was the worst driving state in the country.
Yet these statistics do not necessarily translate into high auto insurance rates across the board. Just two states – Florida and New Jersey – appear on Insure.com’s list of states with the most expensive premiums in 2015. Drivers in Florida pay the fifth highest premiums in the nation, with an average of $1,742 in annual payments, while New Jersey pays an average $1.595.
The entire top 10 list includes:
Yet producers in states on this list say their drivers are rather poor, as well.
New Orleans insurance agent Allen Bordeaux said he’s not surprised by the figures.
“It seems it’s always pretty much been this way as far back as I can remember,” Bordeaux said. “I hear that drivers here a little bit more adventurous than in other places. They tend to run yellow lights regularly and things of that nature.”
Bordeaux said this lack of attention to detail is reflected in the policies he sells, with Louisiana being “at the bottom of the barrel for a while, as far as rates go.”
“It’s relative to where we live, the condition of the highways and streets,” he said. “It probably also has something to do with the amount of people trying to get around every day.”
There are, of course, several other factors that contribute to an auto insurance premium. In the most expensive state, Michigan, unusual no-fault auto insurance regulation drives much of the higher prices.
Unlike other states, Michigan requires drivers to carry auto insurance policies with unlimited medical benefits. Insurers pay medical claims up to $530,000 in Michigan, while the nonprofit Michigan Catastrophic Claim Association covers any additional costs.
Car owners are also required to pay an annual assessment to the association, which is currently $186 per vehicle.
Researchers with Insure.com conducted the study by compiling rates from six large insurance carriers in 10 ZIP codes in every state. The rates were for a full-coverage policy for a 40-year-old man with a clean driving record and good credit. Vehicles included the 20 best-selling vehicles in the US, which represent roughly 40% of all vehicles sold. The models were rated on their “cheapest-to-insure trim level.”
by Caitlin Bronson
EMERGE INSURANCE AGENCY
As a parent, you watch your child hit all the milestones—the first smile, the first words, the first steps. And far too quickly those milestones get bigger. Suddenly your child is a teen, itching to get behind the wheel of a car.
A new teen driver on the road is a daunting prospect for any parent. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control, drivers ages 15 to 19 accounted for only 6.5 percent of the U.S. population in 2016 but represented 8.4 percent of costs related to vehicle accidents.
But rather than sitting by the door biting your nails as you wait for her to drive home from an evening out with her friends, help ensure your teen’s safety with a little extra help from her smartphone. A number of safe-driving apps actually reinforce smart habits behind the wheel that your kids have already learned in driving school and (hopefully) from you.
When she’s safely ensconced on the couch and craving screen time, have her download one of these safe driving apps to help keep her focused while on the road:
Bouncie: Whether you use the free version or upgrade for more features, this smartphone safe-driving app not only helps you keep track of your teen on the road (with real-time location updates) but also alerts him immediately if he’s speeding, accelerating too hard, braking too hard, or engaging in other unsafe driving behaviors. Plus, the driving app maintains a driving habit history so you can track his improvement over time.
Safe and Sound by Toyota: With speed and smartphone use being the two biggest contributors to vehicle accidents, this safe-driving app keeps your teen from texting and scrolling through Instagram when her eyes should be on the road. It automatically sets smartphones to “Do Not Disturb” mode when the vehicle is in motion, and if your teen breaks the rules, this driving app turns control of her music playlist over to you!
TrueMotion Family: This free driving app not only lets you track your teen’s location while he’s driving but keeps track of the whole family—their locations while in motion and while parked, everyone’s driving habits (i.e. no speeding or texting while driving because Mom and Dad will know!), and even rates the household drivers’ habits against one another, so you can start some friendly family competition that will also inspire teen safety.
DriveSmart: Give your mobile-savvy teen a little extra incentive to drive safely. With the DriveSmart free driving app, you can not only track your teen’s driving habits on every trip she makes, but she can collect Smartcoins for demonstrated safe driving practices. Nothing like earning a little extra spending money for keeping her eyes on the road!
AT&T Drive Mode: Kill the distractions that could get your teen in an accident with this safe-driving app that silences smartphone alerts when your teen is driving over 15 mph. The app automatically responds to texts to let senders know he’s driving and allows one-touch music and navigation access. The app will even send an alert to you if your teen turns it off.
Teen safety on the road is serious business. Keep your loved ones a little bit safer and inspire some friendly competition and fun at the same time with one of these safe driving apps. Ensure your teen’s next milestone moment—getting that driver’s license—is a positive one!
EMERGE INSURANCE AGENCY
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If you drive, you need auto insurance coverage. But just exactly which type of coverage should you have, and which ones are you required to have? In this video are the key features of auto insurance (depending on your unique circumstances, you may or may not need all these features): Click here to watch video or on the image below
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Cecil Williams -