You will be surprised how the common and obvious driving distraction can increase your car insurance premiums. Your first accident will raise insurance rates by about 22 while the first ticket will boost them 13% higher. It's a fact. And most drivers know that the most common reason for having trouble behind the wheel is being distracted.
And what are the most common distractions for a driver?
Eating, talking or using your phone are the most common distraction that take your eyes of the road and lead to crashes or near-miss situations (if you're fortunate enough). Most US drivers admit using their cell phones while driving and nearly 20% even manage to write text message while behind the wheel. This leads to the statistics, where about 45% percent of car owners who experienced an accident tell that either of the parties involved was using a cell phone during the crash.
Eating is not as frequently reported to cause an accident as cell phone use, but it definitely distracts the driver from what is going on the road. Some foods are more suitable for on-the-go situations, some are less, and some should be avoided initially:
- Hot drinks such as coffee or tea can spill over you and cause quite unpleasant sensations, which will definitely get you distracted, especially on high speeds.
- Greasy foods can be tasty but they will definitely make a mess out of your steering wheel, making it less comfortable to handle, which can be crucial in risky situations. Chicken wings and barbecue ribs are definitely not the type of food to eat while driving!
- Gooey things like jelly donuts or breakfast burritos can simply ruin your suit when they ooze down from your hands. And it definitely stresses and makes think of things different from what's happening on the road.
What can you do to keep the distractions down?
First of all, if you want to eat really bad and didn't resist the temptation of the drive-thru don't eat on the go. Find a place to pull over and take a snack without driving. It will be also better to get out of the car if you can. If it's a long drive you're taking, you will be able to shoot two birds with one stone: eat and walk around a bit. Besides, you will keep your driver's seat and steering wheel clean if there are any greasy substances.
Don't use hand held cell phones while driving. Some states have already banned this practice and if you get caught using such a device behind the wheel, you can wave your cheap auto insurance goodbye because you'll get a ticket and your rates will be raised instantly. There are many additional devices for cell phones that allow you to talk without using your hands, and this is quite helpful behind the wheel. Still, the conversation itself could distract you from the traffic and raises your risk of having an accident. So if you want to make sure you'll keep your cheap auto insurance and avoid accidents, just find a place to pull over and take the call there. It may take some time, but it can also save your life.