By Tressa Walton, Wilson-Hite Insurance
We see the envelope in the mail and open it up only to see that our car insurance rates have yet again gone up! YOU haven’t had any speeding tickets, no accidents and yet the rate goes up! Why? Distracted driving is a big reason. Unfortunately, whether you text and drive or not- people are and the number of accidents from distracted driving is at an all-time high. Last year in Iowa alone there were 404 deaths on Iowa roads with a large number of those resulting from tragic accidents of someone thinking a text message was more important than watching the road. We just saw another tragic accident a few weeks ago in Texas when a young driver was texting and hit a bus killing 13 people. This is becoming common news and no longer shocks us when we see these stories on tv.
Iowa has recently passed a bill that will allow police officers to pull over people who they suspect are texting and driving or being a distracted driver and fine them beginning July 1, 2017. This is a step in the right direction. April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month and gives us all a chance to look at how distracted we are when we are driving. You are a distracted driver if you do any of the following activities while driving- eating or drinking, texting, talking on the phone, applying make-up or making entries on your infotainment system. Distracted driving IS preventable. The death of someone’s loved one can be prevented.
What can we do to prevent distracted driving? For starters, set a good example to the others in our car. As a parent who is going to have a young driver soon, it has been pointed out to me on more than one occasion of calling or texting when I am driving. I have made a very strong effort to put the phone in my purse behind my seat or away from me while driving. If we don’t show our kids the importance of watching the road at all times, why should they? If the phone call or text is THAT important, pull over to the side of the road and take care of it before getting back onto the road. Don’t eat and drive! Set your alarm a few minutes earlier and eat breakfast at home and not in the car. Make a commitment to yourself and to your family that you will drive safe! Wilson-Hite Insurance has driver contracts that we offer for parents and children to sign and hold each other accountable with. We are more than happy to give you one.
If each one of us puts a good faith effort in driving safer- we can all see improvements. We can see death rates decrease, less traffic accidents and insurance companies that don’t need to take a rate increase to cover the lawsuits and damages caused by distracted driving. Stop being a distracted driver today, before it’s too late for you or someone you love.
Check out Wilson-Hite Insurance’s Facebook page this week regarding the West Bend article, “Is your car’s infotainment center a safety feature or a distraction?” Also look at our website to find a copy of the driver’s contract under resources. If you have any questions, I would love to talk to you.
Sources-whotv.com/2017/04/17; thegazette.com; thesilverlining.com/westbendcares/blog/