Glove compartment- Years ago, cars were more hands on and grimy. The tires, control levers, starting cranks, digging them out of ruts in the roads, all got your hands dirty, so gloves were a essential item and glove compartments standard equipment. No longer. However, there’s always need for a spot to put your insurance and registration, the safety manual, sunglasses and here’s your insurance bill reducing tip… your phone. Without exaggeration, I say approximately 90% of the crash injury cases I handle are result of people looking at their stupid phones, i.o.w. – distracted driving. Unfortunately in Florida like the rest of the U. S., people are relegated to providing their own transportation because of the poor infrastructure cities, counties and towns have. With the economy the way it has been, people are trying to accomplish too much on their drives to, during and home from work and running errands. This overload of tasks includes looking at their phone to return texts emails and messages. Safety tip: cars are for driving not profits work. Here’s the idea: a perfect spot for that phone is the glove compartment. It’s also perfect spot to reduce your insurance premiums. Studies have shown that once a decision has been made (and there’s no going back on the decision), the decider is happier. Just put it away. Studies have also shown there are two kinds of decision makers “maximizers” and “satisfiers.” A maximizer wants to make a decision maximizes results; in this case, you get to commute, talk on your phone, read emails and webpages. A “satisfier” makes a decision which meets certain criteria and then lives with it; in the case of commuters, you want to drive your expensive car safely to and from work- i.e. without a crashing it. In every measure the “satisfier” is much happier. Additionally, having the choice of driving without crashing and interacting with your phone gives you too many options and leads to unhappiness. Pro tip- put your phone in your glove compartment and resolve to make it stay there until you arrive at your destination.
- No rolling turns on red– In Florida you can make a right turn on on a red light. for the citizens of other states of the union, this is an amazing thing. However, some Floridians forget the rest of the law that allows them to turn right. That part is the critical one: “… after stop.” Remember, the light is red and that means you have to… STOP. what we have is PEOPLE just coming to a stop light looking to the left, and making a right-hand turn. Besides being a violation of the law, there’s a small matter of human beings in the pathway of that right turning car. Pedestrians, including bicyclists on crosswalks, have the absolute right to cross in a crosswalk and they will. There are enough of these unnecessary deaths and injuries to put on Youtube. “Rolling through red” is an expensive, expensive mistake and an easy trap for the local police to ensnare you. Moreover, there are surveillance cameras at every single intersection the police will get and use to put you in jail. The worse thing though is when a trial lawyer like me gets it and sue you for every thing you will ever earn or own in your lifetime.
- Leave early– Everyone has the tendency to speed up when they’re late. I am not going to bore you with the statistics that you barely save enough time to heat up a cup of coffee doing that. Dr. Paul Mainwood, who has two doctorates in physics and the philosophy of physics, has calculated and graphed (amazingly enough, using physics) to show how little time you save by speeding. The
reason we have this false belief is a human characteristic called “heuristics.” We think: “if we go X percent faster will save X present time.” That is wrong, but instead of calculating, we use mental heuristics — simplified decisions making models — to work out how speed, time and distance are related. One enterprising blogger even created a calculator to show how little time you save by speeding. Bottom line: Want to get there on time and without raising your rates? Leave early. One final note: Some insurance companies offer you great discounts on your rates if you install a black box which tells the company what your speed and driving habits are. If you can handle the invasion of privacy you can do this for discount.
- Use your gift of sight – Don’t just look at the vehicle in front of you, look at the vehicle in front of the vehicle in front of you. If you see red lights anywhere in the line of traffic for your chances are the guy right in front of you is not paying attention. If he slams on his brakes and hits the car in front of him, he stops suddenly. If you are not paying attention, you will get sued by the guy in
front of the guy in front of you along with the driver you hit. I see this all the time. I have two cases right now with this very set of facts. It is more common than you think and is so easily avoidable. I fly airplanes and I sail sailboats. Both of those require you to think ahead of your plane or boat. You have to plan ahead because it takes a while for a airplane or a boat to stop. Same with the car, it takes a while. Only with the car, it’s milliseconds which since it takes .75 of a second for the signal stop to reach your foot from your brain, you may have already rear-ended that guy in front of you in busy traffic.
- Look to the future – electronic There is a Consumer Reports article that outlines “10 Ways to Avoid a Car Crash,” then proceeds to tell you all the stuff your car doesn’t have. The writers encourage you to buy safety devices on your next car. Your next car should have ABS at a minimum, but as you purchase new, you will find your insurance company will give you discount for: car alarms, forward collision warning and “Lane-keeping Assist,” “adaptive cruise control (ACC) will all get you a discount. There are some things that you can purchase and have installed yourself. For example, if you have a hatchback, buy or install a backup camera- your next car will not kill children and dogs and hit cars flying low in a parking lot.in fact, if you check now, you may find that’s the case with the options you have on your current car.
- Slow the #&*@ down. Yep. Do you know how much time you save speeding? Ha. Here it is:
26 seconds. No kidding. You get there 26 seconds faster. Speeding tickets are enhanced in Florida if you are 10 miles per hour over the posted limit. So, you’re doing 40 in a 30? $126.00 extra on the ticket. You can get a $400 ticket for doing 40 mph. What do those speeding tickets get you? Increased premiums on your insurance if you even get the coverage. Your better carriers and even GEICo will turn you down. You know the carriers will pull your driving history. When they do and they see a ticket you didn’t bother telling them, POW! Up go your rates.
- Stay on the road – this is incidental to the glove compartment. Really, where is the danger posed by traveling on the road? there are number of times you want to go off the road just to get around a line of cars that are going in a different direction than you. Another scenario is you look away momentarily around the curve. If you go off the road, to damage the car, lose control, and somebody (you) may die. Keep it within the lines and keep your insurance low.
- Deductibles – There are good deductible and bad deductibles. Good: Collision deductible. $500 at a minimum, $1,000 is ideal. Why? Most damages to cars are little fender benders that can be easily fixed. However, if make a claim, not only does the carrier have to pay for the repair, it also has to have an adjuster work the claim (so that person is not on another claim), the costs incidental to payout- e.g. computer, paper, long distance, photo-copying, etc. Your little $1000 expense is expensive to the insurance company. That deductible goes a long way and it encourages you by reducing your rates accordingly.
- Bubblegum– the American Automobile Association had a survey in 2014 which it was found 37 percent of all drivers (like the guy in the car next to you) have fallen asleep while driving at least once in their lives, 11 percent during the past year, and 4 percent in the past month before the survey. Drowsy driving is a serious problem that leads to thousands of automobile crashes every year. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), drowsy driving is a serious problem that leads to thousands of automobile crashes each year. What does bubblegum have to do with falling asleep? This is what’s known as a “Life hack.” A Well-known British researcher Andrew Johnson, has done several of these “chewing–gum–promotes alertness” studies. The results are pretty conclusive: chewing gum keeps you awake and reduces stress. The second benefit, clearly can go toward reducing the stress of your drive. Many years ago, I was a “Proctor” at the Bar Exam to be admitted to the practice of law in the state of Florida. It seems like every third or fourth desk had a pack of gum next to the examinee. Law students might know something about staying awake during long hours of studying. Try it sometime, see what happens. remember, “people are horrible judges of their level of sleepiness” says Mark Rosekind, former National Highway Traffic Safety Administration under President Obama. Keep some gum handy and chew it to avoid wrecks.
- Assume the worst– of all the worst cognitive errors people make in judging their safety on the road, for some reason they think being surrounded by thousands of 4,000 pound, gas-filled, single occupant, texting-driven vehicles is a safe place to be. Does it even sound safe? It is not. According to the latest statistics, From the Center for Disease Control, 92 people a day die in the United States alone. That’s 4 very hour. It is the ninth leading cause of death in the United States.If you live, you have the gloomy prospect of a severe injury. According to the Association for Safe International Travel, the United States has 2,350,000 people injured or disabled every year (268 every hour, 4.5 every minute). Sound depressing? Look over at the driver next to you in traffic. That’s the guy/gal who will cost the United States citizens $230,600.00 a
year and each citizen the average of $820 a month. (That’s your $820). so, how to reduce your insurance rate in this situation? Before you go through a green light look both ways. When you come to a stop don’t just look at the car behind you, look at the car behind it. Are they both stopping? If not, take the room that you leave in front of you and pull off to the side of the road. Assume the driver next to you doesn’t see you. Oh and that lane your changing into? Guess what? There’s a car there already. Paranoia, although it’s not the most desirable trait in someone you meet using Bumble, Tinder or Grinder, is handy when driving the car in the United States of America. Our roads are the worst roads and cause the most death of any industrialized nation on the planet. That is not a number one the United States should be living with.
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