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Avoid Those Cell Phones While Driving

At any given daylight moment in the United States, nearly 700,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The NHTSA reports that an estimated 421,000 people were injured in auto accidents in 2012 involving a distracted driver, a 9 percent increase from the prior year. And 31 percent of American drivers ages 18-64 reported that they had read or sent text messages while driving at least once within the 30 days prior to the survey.
Cell phones, and particularly smart phones, are considered one of the leading driver distractions. As a result, more communities are placing restrictions on drivers' use of cell phones. The following tips are offered to motorists with regard to cell phone use in vehicles.
  • You should wait until the car trip is complete before placing a call. Your cell phone's voicemail feature should answer a call while you are driving.
  • Consider keeping the cell phone completely out of reach in your car to keep the temptations from usage at bay.
  • Absolutely essential calls should only be performed while stopped. However, it is not wise to pull over on the side of the road where a rear-end collision is possible. Instead, you should pull into a parking lot to perform this task.
  • If you have to make a call, take advantage of speed-dialing capabilities.
  • At a minimum, you should never drive and talk on the cell phone during stressful, emotional, or complex discussions since the risk of an accident is heightened during such times.
  • You should never text message while driving.

Coaching Your Teenage Driver

Research indicates that the greatest risk of auto accidents is among teenage drivers. The California Department of Motor Vehicles reports that the fatal crash rate for 16- to 19-year-olds is 2.7 times higher than for drivers of all ages. So here are some tips for parents to pass on to their sons and daughters who are now getting behind the wheel for the first time.
  • Establish initial ground rules for the use of the car. These rules, perhaps in the form of a contract, should include restrictions on the number of friends in the car, circumscribed use of the radio, where and how the car may be used, and curfew times. Curtailment of the right to drive should be spelled out.
  • Ban cell phone use. Parents should emphasize that the cell phone must be turned off and unavailable while the teen is driving.
  • Prohibit drinking and driving. Parents should emphasize that there be no exceptions to this ironclad rule.
  • Keep distractions to a minimum. This includes talking with friends, eating, and flipping the radio dial.
  • Practice defensive driving. Techniques include maintaining a safe distance from cars ahead of the driver, closely monitoring traffic in adjacent lanes, and taking a defensive driving class.
  • Follow the speed limit. Research indicates that high driving speed is a significant contributor to fatal teen accidents.
Choose a safe auto for your teen. Autos with excellent crash safety records and the latest safety equipment, including air bags and electronic stability control, could reduce your teen's chances of being injured in an auto accident.

Copyright 2015
International Risk Management Institute, Inc.

Farley Insurance Services, Inc.
is committed to being one of the premier independent insurance agencies in Western North Carolina with offices in Murphy, Robbinsville and Bryson City. Our commitment is to provide customers with the best insurance value and service available while maintaining the highest ethical standards and credibility with our clients, carriers, and the public. We are a general independent insurance agency with a broad range of Commercial, Personal, Life, and Health products. We've aligned ourselves with some of the finest carriers to deliver these products to you.

Murphy, NC
Phone: 828-837-7447
Fax: 828-837-9105
Robbinsville, NC
Phone: 828-479-6448
Fax: 828-479-0255
Bryson City, NC
Phone: 828-366-2555
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