Auto accidents happen. Are you prepared? While a car crash is almost unthinkable, the correct preparation can save you time, money, and possibly even pain. Before you get behind the wheel, take a look at the steps that can keep you safe and reduce the risks.
The safer your car, the better prepared you are in the event of an auto accident. According to the Insurance Information Institute, an airbag-seat belt combo provides the best safety protection.
If you think unbuckling for comfort is acceptable, the Insurance Information Institute notes that properly using seat belt restraints can lower the risk of a fatal auto accident-related injury (to front seat passengers) by up to 45 percent.
Along with making sure that your seat belts work (and using them), always check the airbags too. Frontal airbags saved over 2,700 lives in 2016, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics. If you're not sure whether the airbags in your car work, bring your vehicle to a qualified mechanic for service immediately.
Proactively assessing your driving ability can make a major difference when it comes to reducing the likelihood of an auto accident. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that 28 percent of traffic-related fatalities in 2016 resulted from alcohol use.
No amount of alcohol is safe to drink before getting behind the wheel. With the increasing availability of ride-sharing services and similar types of apps, it's easy to find a sober driver to take you to your destination.
Drunk driving isn't the only alertness issue that contributes to car crashes. Drowsy driving is responsible for 72,000 crashes a year, according to NHTSA. Always get enough sleep before driving. If you're drowsy, ill, or can't concentrate on the road, don't drive.
Drivers who are already behind the wheel (such as long-distance drivers) should pull over and take a rest break if they feel tired, can't concentrate, or are in any other way unable to pay attention to the road.
While preventing an auto accident is ideal, sometimes these unfortunate incidents are impossible to avoid. Creating a safety kit is one way to prevent further physical or motor vehicle injury.
A first aid kit, well-charged cell phone, flashlight, road flares, blanket, and a non-perishable food source can all help you out in an auto emergency.
While physical safety is a necessity, it isn't the only risk factor that proper preparation can decrease. According to the Insurance Information Institute, three out of every four drivers ends up paying at least some out-of-pocket expenses following a collision. These expenses aren't always unexpected. Sixteen percent of drivers that end up having to pay additional expenses following an accident knew that they didn't have enough coverage before driving.
What can you do to minimize the financial risk of a potential accident? When it comes to your auto insurance:
- Review regularly. Talk to your insurance agent, and review your policy to make sure that you have enough coverage.
- Learn the lingo. Collision? Comprehensive? Deductibles? If you don't know what the parts of the policy are or aren't clear about what the words your agent uses mean, just ask. Your insurance agent can explain the terms you need to know.
- Consider what you can afford. This doesn't only include what you can reasonably afford to pay for the policy. Consider how much you could pay out-of-pocket in the event of an accident. This includes deductibles (the portion you need to pay before the insurance covers costs) and uncovered expenses.
While it's tempting to skimp on coverage, preparing yourself for the possibility of an accident requires more than the bare minimum. Too little insurance can leave you paying hefty bills or short a working car.
Do you need new auto insurance or a review? Contact Koski & Co. Insurance Agents for more information.