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  • June 29, 2022
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Tips for safe summer driving

June 29, 2022

Summer travel is heating up. AAA recently released their 2022 Independence Day Travel Forecast, predicting that 48 million people will travel 50 miles + from home between June 30 – July 4, 2022. The majority of travelers – 42 million – are expected to travel by car. Here’s some simple safe driving tips to help keep your family safer while traveling by car this Fourth of July.

 

 

Prepare to hit the road

 

Build an emergency kit

A well-stocked emergency kit can help you in a variety of situations that may arise, from accidents to mechanical problems. Here’s some suggestions for what to include:

  • Rain protection (rain coats, umbrellas, etc.)
  • Toilet paper
  • Basic first aid kit
  • Flashlights with fresh batteries
  • Warning flares or triangles
  • Shop rags or paper towels
  • Basic hand tools, including a screwdriver, hammer, etc.
  • Battery or solar powered phone chargers

 

Prevent issues before they begin with regular car maintenance

Regular maintenance checks can help ensure your car is in good working order. Here are some things to look for:

  • Check your tire pressure and tread depth
  • Make sure your flat tire replacement and jack are in the car and ready to be used if needed
  • Check that your wiper blades are in good condition
  • Make sure your car battery is working and does not need to be replaced
  • Fill your windshield washer fluid

 

Time your travel

AAA forecasts that drivers should expect the longest delays heading into the holiday weekend, especially during the afternoons on Thursday, June 30 and Friday, July 1. Check resources like Google Maps before heading out to estimate current traffic levels or find alternate routes.

 

 

 

Practice safe driving

 

Buckle up!

The WebFirst Insurance team believes in buckling up first before putting your car in drive. We encourage you and your passengers to wear your seatbelt at all times. According to the National Safety Council, studies show that seat belts, when used, are 45% effective in preventing fatalities among front-seat passenger car occupants *.

 

Stay alert

Take breaks from driving to fend off fatigue. If another licensed driver is in the car, switch drivers every two hours/100 miles. If you’re traveling without another driver, take breaks at the same intervals. Stretches and short naps can be helpful to maintain alertness.

If you’re a passenger, help the driver to focus on the road. Assisting with directions, grabbing needed items like sunglasses, or wrangling the kids in the backseat helps keep your driver’s eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.

 

Be mindful of trucks

Trucks are the largest type of commuter and commercial vehicle, making it crucial to be extra cautious when driving near them.

  • Give an early heads up and keep your turn signal on longer than normal
  • Make 100% sure the truck is clear of your vehicle before changing lanes
  • Do not tailgate
  • Do not cut off anyone, especially trucks

 

 

Prevent car theft

 

Did you know that from 2014 to 2017, over 8,000 vehicles were stolen on July 4th alone? Help lower your risk of falling victim to car theft this Fourth of July with these simple steps:

  • Keep valuables locked in the glove box or trunk
  • Take pit stops in shifts so the car is not left unattended
  • Empty the car completely when you reach your destination
  • Double check that nothing is left behind or is in sight

 

 

 

What to do in the event of an accident

 

At WebFirst Insurance, we know that car accidents are a stressful experience. That’s why we’ve created this handy list of steps to take should you find yourself in one:

 

1. Pull over immediately

In Massachusetts, it’s the law to pull over after your car has struck another motor vehicle, bicycle, pedestrian, animal, or if your vehicle hits someone else’s property. It’s also a good practice to stop operating the vehicle immediately if your car has been hit as well, so that officers and insurance companies can have as precise of a depiction of the crash as possible.

 

2. Dial 9-1-1, and notify the police of the accident

Not notifying the police of a car accident puts you at risk to be denied coverage by the insurance company. In worst cases, you’ll also be at risk for prosecution.

 

3. Stay safe

The “curiosity factor” of a car accident typically causes other drivers to slow down to see the accident. This spells trouble; your accident could very easily become the scene for another car accident. Debris from your accident could even cause another accident on the road. If possible, use flares, flashlights, or other safety equipment to secure the crash site and alert other drivers.

 

4. Accept medical treatment

Even if you don’t feel injured or hurt, make sure to accept medical treatment if offered. Far too frequently, accident victims discover later on that their injuries, which they thought were minor, prove to be otherwise. This is because many of the injuries that result from car accidents are “soft tissue injuries.” These types of injuries can worsen over time. Make sure to report any injuries to law enforcement officials who respond to your accident scene.

 

5. Cooperate with law enforcement

Provide accurate information to the police officer. You have the right to ask law enforcement officers to document evidence at the scene.

 

6. Control your temper

This is not the time to get upset and harass the other driver or passengers. It is recommended that contact with the other driver is engaged only for an exchange of contact information.

 

7. Take notes of important details

This way, you have a personal account of what happened. If anything gets misrepresented, you have proof. Include the names and contact information of those present, witness statements, and a description of events, including:

  • Time of day and date
  • How the accident happened
  • Road conditions, traffic, and weather
  • Your injuries
  • Road obstructions or obstacles
  • Potholes
  • Uneven lanes
  • Vehicle skid marks
  • Any other details

 

8. Take photos

Take photographs of the accident scene as soon as you can. Photograph any obstacles, obstructions, adverse road conditions, signs, trees, vegetation, and any other relevant information. Make sure to photograph the scene from a variety of angles and show the time of day that your accident occurred. Lastly, document any injuries to yourself or your passengers.

 

9. Keep records

Your insurance company will contact you after an accident, if you haven’t already reached out to them, and potentially law enforcement officers and attorneys will reach out to you as well. Make sure to document who reaches out to you and why they have contacted you. Keeping records of everything helps eliminate human error when fact-checking down the road.

 

10. Contact your insurance carrier

As soon as you can, call your insurance carrier to report that the accident occurred. Do not answer any other questions besides the date, time, and location of the accident.

 

 

At WebFirst Insurance, we understand that even if you take all of the proper precautions, accidents sometimes still happen. We also understand that many times, it isn’t your fault. You have a lot to worry about after an accident, one of those things shouldn’t be your insurance premium increasing. Many of the companies that write insurance with us offer accident forgiveness as an add-on to your insurance policy, which keeps accidents on your record from affecting your insurance premium. Contact our agents today to ask about accident forgiveness.

 

Contact an Agent

 

 

*Although the reduction in the risk of fatal injury from wearing seat belts is higher for light-truck occupants at 50%, the lower figure for passenger car occupants is used in the calculations here as the more conservative measure. The most recent data from FARS indicate that seat belt use by fatally injured passenger car and light truck occupants was 48.6%. Visit nsc.org for more information.

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