Distracted Driver Awareness Month Seattle, Washington

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

It is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Distracted Driver Awareness Month Seattle, WashingtonApril is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,142 lives were lost from distracted driving accidents. This increased 10% from 2018.

What is considered distracted driving? Any time you cannot have 100% full attention to driving your vehicle is considered distracted driving. Behaviors can range from talking on the phone, texting, talking to a passenger in your vehicle, eating, brushing your hair, adjusting settings in your vehicle or playing with your vehicle’s GPS while driving your vehicle. Unfortunately, distracted driving is more common than it should be.

Take this month to practice safe driving by eliminating any of the previously mentioned behaviors while driving. This will not only make you a safer driver, but keeps other vehicles on the road safer too.

Cell Phone Use

Cell phone use can be one of the most dangerous behaviors while driving a vehicle. Sending a text message while driving can take your eyes off the road for several seconds. Talking on the phone also creates enough distraction while driving. Here are some things to consider practicing this month –

  • Keep your phone in the back seat when driving to avoid looking at it, texting or talking. You could also consider other areas of your car like your trunk or glove box. If the glove box is tempting, place it farther away from you like the back seat or trunk.
  • There are options to put a do not disturb setting on your phone while driving. This can help eliminate the distraction.
  • Make phone calls or texts before or after driving your vehicle.
  • If you are riding with a passenger, let the passenger be in charge of your phone for calls or texts.

Be Aware of Other Distracted Driving Behaviors

Do you find yourself eating in the car often? Grooming? Frequently fiddling with your entertainment system? Reaching in the back seat dealing with children? If you are guilty of these behaviors, how can you work to eliminate them?

Be a Good Role Model

Especially if you are a parent to children, you should demonstrate how to be a safe driver. Children see what you do and can easily follow in your footsteps. Cell phone use can be one of the most dangerous behaviors so practice never using your cell phone while driving. If you do not have kids, keep others you love accountable. Not only demonstrate safe driving practices while you are behind the wheel, but call out any of their behaviors you feel are unsafe while in the passenger seat.

While our agents cannot teach out how to practice safe driving, we can shop to find you the best rate for your auto insurance. Call our office for a free auto insurance quote. We’ll shop our carriers and provide you with several quotes to choose from. We’ll explain your coverage options too.

Why a basic Homeowners policy isn’t always enough

Sometimes, a basic homeowners policy just isn’t enough. So as your career advances and your income increases, it’s important to keep your insurance protection up to date. This helps you avoid expensive gaps in coverage and prevents you from paying too much out of pocket in case of a claim. To be properly protected, you need a homeowners policy that grows with you.

That’s why we offer multiple homeowners policy options, including packages specifically for customers who need higher levels of protection. You may benefit from additional coverage if any of the following apply to you:

  • The cost to completely rebuild your home is between $500,000 and $3 million.
  • You have a custom-built home.
  • Your home has marble countertops, custom cabinetry, high-end appliances or electronics, valuable collections of various kinds, or similar amenities.
  • You have substantial financial assets to protect.
  • You have additional or unique risk exposure.

Our options give you the flexibility to easily add affordable comprehensive coverage to your policy without confusing endorsements or other complications. These valuable options include:

Extended dwelling coverage. Full reconstruction costs are often different than market value, so your current homeowners policy may not accurately reflect the true costs of rebuilding your home. Extended dwelling coverage helps you rebuild if construction or permitting costs change and add up to more than your current policy limits. It may also pay for debris removal, contractor costs, construction fees and permits, architect’s fees, and other expenses.

Building ordinance or law coverage. If your home needs to be rebuilt or repaired due to a covered loss, you’ll have to build according to current building codes. And since codes change, this could mean higher costs than expected to rebuild. Building ordinance policy, or law coverage, exists for just such scenarios — and it could save you thousands.

Replacement cost up-front coverage. This loss settlement option allows you to choose not to rebuild at the original location following a covered total loss. In this case, you’ll get a payout to apply to the purchase or construction of a new home in a new location.

Personal property replacement cost coverage. This helps cover the costs of replacing personal property, such as electronics, art, jewelry, and furniture, with no deduction for depreciation. So you’ll get the amount needed to buy an identical or comparable item rather than settling for something of lesser value.

Personal offense coverage. This offers you broad protection against a variety of lawsuits and damages related to libel, slander, defamation of character, invasion of privacy, and other offenses. This may include comments made on social media by either you or your children.

Is your homeowners policy up to date? If you’re unsure or if you’ve outgrown your current coverage, contact us to discuss your situation and get the protection you truly need.

Reposted with permission from the original author, Safeco Insurance®.

Top image by Flickr user David Sawyer used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 2.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

Creating the Ultimate Road Trip

Tips on Creating The Ultimate Road Trip

Creating the Ultimate Road TripDuring the pandemic, many individuals may not feel comfortable getting on an airplane. However, many still want to travel. Perhaps a road trip can be the answer. Road trips allow you to see what is between your home and destination, something that hopping on a plane doesn’t, but it is essential to have the best plan in place before you hit the road.

First off, where do you want to go?

This is the most important question. Start with your end destination. For example, say someone who lives in Washington State wants to travel to Death Valley National Park.

Start with your basic questions:

  • How much time can I spend on the road?
  • How long will it take to get to my end destination?
  • What are my route options?
  • What am I interested in seeing?
  • Is everything open that I am interested in seeing?
  • Do I want to rent a car or use my own car?

Once you answer those questions, you can begin your planning.

Grab the basics for your vehicle

It doesn’t matter if you are renting a car or using your own, it is good to have the basics in the car for your road trip.

  • Flashlight
  • Food and water
  • Owner’s manual
  • Spare tire & roadside kit
  • Cell phone charger
  • Blanket
  • Small trash bag

Adding comfort to your road trip

Comfort can come in many ways. From wearing comfortable clothes & shoes to having snacks. We will share below some items that can bring comfort to a long drive.

  • Good music playlist. Whether you create it on your phone or pack a bunch of CDs, music makes a comfortable drive. Not a music fan? What about an audio book?
  • Hand sanitizer and cleaning wipes. Obviously this is more important than ever with COVID-19, but having access to clean hands brings comfort.
  • Sometimes you will come across a vendor who only accepts cash. Sometimes there are tolls you have to pass that require cash. This is always good to have on hand.
  • Snacks – pack your favorites!
  • Sunglasses & sunscreen
  • First Aid Kit
  • Cooler – this allows you to bring a variety of food choices. Especially if you don’t want to eat out every meal, packing your own meals brings safety and routine to your diet.
  • Pillow
  • Camera & camera charger (unless you use your phone for photos!)

Another common question – if I am renting a car, do I need to purchase their insurance policy?

This choice is up to you. Your auto insurance coverage would cover anything on your rental car that is covered on your personal car. Comprehensive and collision insurance is a required coverage on rental cars. If your current auto insurance coverage does not have comprehensive and collision coverage, you will need to purchase that coverage. Also, consider roadside assistance if you plan to be in an area unfamiliar to you.

What else should I know about creating the best road trip?

This may sound silly, but keep your head up and enjoy the scenery. If you are sitting in the passenger seat, it is easy to scroll through your phone instead, but sometimes the gems along the route are better than the destination.

Also, it may be fun to keep a journal of all the details of your trip. Especially if you are a fan of scrapbooking your trips, you’ll remember all the little memories that may be easy to forget.

Lastly, do some research. If you are a foodie, research the best places to eat on your route. Whether it is a simple Google search or looking at Yelp, it is easy to find tasty food.

If you have any questions about your existing auto insurance or RV insurance coverage, please contact us before you hit the road. Safe travels and enjoy the open road.