If you're a risky driver who constantly speeds, weaves in and out
of traffic or causes accidents, your driving record probably isn't
If, on the other hand, you're a good and careful driver who obeys
the law, seldom gets ticketed and hasn't had an accident in years,
your cautious nature may just earn you some brownie points when it
comes to lowering your insurance rates.
In fact, for good drivers like you, cheap car insurance is the
ultimate reward for careful driving.
The Logic behind It
Since car insurance companies base premiums partially on past
driving experience, a good driving record automatically entitles you
to a discount on car insurance rates.
Why? Because once a careful driver, always a careful driver—at
least in your insurer's eyes. If you have a good driving record when
you're younger, you'll usually continue that trend as you grow
older. That makes you less risk to your insurance company; and
they'll most likely reward you with reduced premiums.
In fact, the better your record when it comes to things like
accidents, claims and tickets, the lower your premiums are likely to
be—saving you a considerable amount on car insurance.
It's as simple as that.
What Makes a Good Driver?
Typically labeled a "preferred risk driver" by
the insurance industry, if you're a good driver you're generally:
In your mid-twenties or older, offering
enough time to establish an exemplary record
Free of moving violations or tickets
in the past three or more years, depending on where you live and
which insurer you choose
Superior when it comes to credit scores,
with higher ratings than most of your peers
Lawful citizens, with no
vehicle-related crime convictions
Taking a defensive driving course also improves your chances of
obtaining a good driver discount, as it shows your insurance company
a willingness to improve your overall driving skills.
When It's Not Your Fault
Occasionally we all find ourselves in unavoidable situations that
aren't our fault. So how do predicaments like these affect good
Though most insurance companies won't penalize you as a result,
check with your insurer ahead of time to find out if no-fault
tickets or accidents can cause you to lose your good driver
discount. Every insurance company sees things differently, so it's
wise to ask these questions right up front to avoid problems later.
Besides, a good driver is always well informed!
Enjoy the Benefits
Good drivers ride safely, avoid costly repairs and medical bills,
and help protect themselves and others on the road. But one of the
greatest benefits comes with preferred driver discounts, an easy
route to cheaper car insurance.
on the wholeGet Ready For Winter
Because winter is the most dangerous time of year for driving, it
is important to take some time to familiarize yourself with basic
winter driving safety tips. During the winter, it is recommended by
safety experts to take the following precautions:
In hard freeze conditions, if you drove through snow or ice the
last time you drove the vehicle then just as soon as you start the
car moving again, slowly and lightly applied the brakes to make sure
they have not frozen shut for open on you. - you will also
want to leave earlier for any trips you take. this allows you
to drive slower than you normally would and still arrive on time.
Slower speeds will give you more reaction times, and that can often
mean the difference between stopping safely and stopping on impact
with another vehicle. Collisions during winter driving
conditions can often be more dangerous than summer collations are.
- This is especially important, take care not to accelerate when you
are going around corners or curves. Speeding up can
cause you to lose control of your vehicle in dangerous skids. -
If your vehicle does the again to skid, do not slam on the brakes.
This will make the skid worse. Instead, slowly and firmly apply your
brakes until you can regain control. - Make certain that your
vehicle is ready for winter
by checking your front and rear windshield wipers for wear
by refilling the windshield wiper fluid,
And ensure that your tires have more than sufficient tread
because almost certainly, you will need the extra traction one
Take extra special care before you begin driving on bridges,
overpasses -- or over areas covered by shade, as these areas are
ripe for black ice. if you ever do sense your vehicle
about to go into a skid, then begin steering back and forth,
left and right, quickly but lightly.
Another safety precaution is simply to avoid taking
unnecessary trips during hazardous weather conditions.
When there are ruts in this street or highway, the safest
place for your car tires is inside of a deep rut, but only if
you have a full-size car or pickup.
If you find yourself on a single lane highway with oncoming
traffic in another single lane, and if the traffic is light and
visibility is not restricted, then you might straddle the
center of the highway and move forward faster than you could by
stanying on one side
Many parents will send their child
off to school early in the morning after their child has their
license because this will relieve them of having to deal with
driving them to school. However, it is important to remember
that when a teen between the ages of 16-19 gets behind the
wheel, they are three times more likely to get in an accident as
compared with a driver that is 20 years or older, or so
states the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The connection between school start times and teen driving
There are a variety of reasons why teens are more
susceptible to accidents than other drivers on the road. Factors
such as distractions, speeding, driving at night, lack of
experience and not wearing their seat belt all contribute to why
teens are prone to getting into or causing car accidents.
In addition to these causation factors, a recent study
researched the link between lack of sleep caused by early school
start times and how this may be contributing to teenage car
accidents. The study compared the number of accidents between
two cities in Virginia, one which had early school start times
and one where schools started later, states Discovery News. In
the city where school started at 7:20 a.m. compared with the
school that started at 8:40 a.m., crash rates were 40 percent
higher among teenagers than the school that started later.
There are a variety of reasons why teens may be not getting
enough sleep in addition to early school start times. These
include sleep restrictions, or the lack of time allotted for
enough sleep, sleep disorders such as insomnia or restless legs
syndrome or trying to sleep in an environment that does is not
conducive to proper sleep.
Why sleep is so
Many teens underestimate the value of
getting enough sleep every night. In addition to being more
prone to car accidents, lack of sleep among teenagers causes:
- Limited ability to learn, listen to others, solve problems and
concentrate at school. - Greater susceptibility to skin
problems like acne and pimples. - Irritable behavior that may
threaten relationships with friends, teachers and family. - A
weakened immune system and illness. - Eating too much or
eating junk food, sweets or other foods lacking in nutrition.
Although it may be difficult with a busy schedule of school,
extra-curricular activities and a social life, teens should make
getting the National Sleep Foundation's recommended 9.25 hours
of sleep every night a priority to reduce their chances of
accident and threat of harming others on the road.
or a loved one were injured in an accident caused by a teenage
driver, contact an attorney that specializes in personal injury
to find out what your rights are towards proper compensation.
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According to a study from the National Council on Compensation
Insurance, although auto accidents account for only a relatively
small proportion of total workers' comp claims overall, they are
responsible for 15 percent of permanently debilitating on-the-job
injuries and more than 20 percent of work-related fatalities.
Given the potential severity of car accident injuries, it is
particularly important to recover the full compensation you deserve
if you have been injured or lost a family member in a work-related
car accident. Those injured in car accidents compensable through
workers' compensation have an advantage over those injured in
crashes that occurred outside the scope of employment in that fault
is generally not considered when awarding workers' comp benefits.
But when is a car crash within the scope of employment, and
therefore compensable through workers' compensation?
Was employee driving pursuant to
For those whose work duties almost exclusively include the operation
of a motor vehicle, it might not be as difficult to define when a
crash falls within the scope of employment. But, many car accidents
also occur among employees who drive only occasionally in a work
capacity, and these cases are often more complicated.
Did the injury "arise out of" the scope of employment? If the answer
is yes, workers' comp benefits should be available.
For example, imagine that someone who normally works as a chef is
asked by her employer to make a delivery; if a car accident occurs
while the employee is making that delivery, she should be covered by
workers' comp. To put it succinctly, if an employee is traveling by
automobile for work when the accident occurs, workers' compensation
should be available.
However, there are a few important caveats. Generally, injuries
arising out of traffic accidents that occur simply when commuting --
traveling to the workplace from your home or vice versa -- are not
compensable through workers' compensation. In addition, if an
employee is running an errand for his or her employer, but deviates
from the errand to attend to some personal matter and then suffers
injury in a car accident, workers' compensation benefits might not
Of course, in order to qualify for workers' compensation benefits,
the injured party must meet other general requirements, such as
being classified as an employee rather than an independent
Ask a workers' compensation attorney about
recovering benefits for your injury
Determining whether car accident injuries are compensable through
workers' compensation can involve some tricky legal questions. But,
making the determination can be well worth it, as workers' comp
covers all medical bills for a work-related injury, provides
compensation for lost wages and permanent disability, and, in the
event of a fatality, ensures that dependents receivedeath
up to 10 years.
The best way to start figuring out if a car accident occurred in the
scope of employment is to ask the opinion of an experienced workers'
compensation attorney. Your attorney can help you analyze the
viability of your case and ensure that you recover the full amount
you are entitled to if you are eligible for workers' compensation
benefits. If you have been injured in a car crash that may have been
work-related, or if you lost a loved one in such an accident, get in
touch with a workers' compensation attorney today.
Recently, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
(FMCSA) announced changes to its rules that deal with the amount of
time that a truck driver may be behind the wheel. These changes
limit the drivers to 70 hours of on-duty time in a week. In order to
reset the time period, drivers must rest for 34 consecutive hours,
including two consecutive nights where the driver is sleeping from 1
A.M. to 5 A.M.
The agency made these changes to help limit
the chances that a serious trucking accident would be caused by a
fatigued truck driver. The industry has made several protests to
these rules since they were put into effect, as many companies feel
that the restrictions will end up costing them a great deal of time
and money. Some have even questioned the safety benefits that may
result from these changes, insisting that the roadways will now be
filled with more drivers under pressure to meet tight deadlines.
The FMCSA may face additional pressures to punish drivers and
companies who violate these rules. The National Transportation
Safety Board (NTSB), the agency that investigates many of the major
trucking accidents that happen in the U.S., has been critical of the
FMCSA for the penalties that have been handed down in the past.
The NTSB determined that two serious trucking accidents that led
to several deaths were caused by companies that had HOS violations
on their record. The FMCSA had not ordered either company out of
service, but instead had imposed less serious sanctions on the
companies in question.
With the trucking industry struggling
to adapt to the new rules, it has led to experienced truck drivers
leaving the profession. This means more new drivers are on roadways
and their lack of time behind the wheel could result in more
If you have been injured in a trucking
accident, speak to an experienced personal injury attorney about
pursuing compensation against the responsible parties. An attorney
can help you prepare your claims, and protect your interests
throughout the process. Frequently, insurance companies will contact
you after you have been injured, and make you an offer in an effort
to keep your case from going to trial.
You need to understand
that if you accept their offers, you are relinquishing any future
claims that you may have, which could be a major problem should you
experience any setbacks in your recovery. Before you sign any
agreements, be sure that you are aware of the expenses that you will
incur for the treatment of your injuries, including costs for
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Distracted driving is a serious problem in New Jersey and
nationwide. Last year, according to estimates from the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 421,000 people were injured
in crashes that involved distracted driving.
texting and other types of handheld phone use behind the wheel are
one way to help prevent distracted driving crashes. In New Jersey,
it is illegal to use a handheld phone to talk or text while driving.
However, there is a loophole in the law that one New Jersey
lawmaker is seeking to close with a bill introduced in early
New measure would explicitly prohibit texting even
while temporarily stopped
The new bill, proposed by State
Senator Richard Codey, would expand New Jersey's cell phone ban to
include handheld mobile device use by drivers who are not in motion.
In addition, it would modify the state's written driver's test by
including distracted driving questions.
Under current law,
when New Jersey drivers are temporarily stopped in traffic -- at a
stoplight, in a traffic jam or at a stop sign, for example -- use of
a handheld cell phone is not technically a violation. Yet, even
using a handheld cell phone behind the wheel when temporarily
stopped can be dangerous; for instance, drivers who glance up from a
smartphone screen only to realize they have been sitting at a light
that has already turned green often hurriedly speed into the
intersection without looking out for other motorists or pedestrians.
Supporters of the bill also hope it would make New Jersey roads
safer by helping the state qualify for federal grant funds. In 2012,
the Department of Transportation announced grants up to $17.5
million to fight distracted driving, available to states with
stringent enough distracted driving laws. Thus far, New Jersey's
cellphone laws put the state out of the running for the grant money
because they do not criminalize texting while temporarily stopped in
It is uncertain whether there will be immediate
action on the bill in the New Jersey legislature. Senator Codey says
he hopes to usher the new bill into law before large enhancements in
distracted driving penalties go into effect next summer.
looking to get this done before July 1 of 2014 so we have a huge
campaign underway in New Jersey," Senator Codey told The
Those injured by distracted drivers may be
compensated whether the law was violated or not
While the law
change could serve as another important deterrent to distracted
driving, it is important to recognize that even if a motorist was
not in violation of New Jersey's current texting while driving law,
that motorist (or his or her insurer) can still be held responsible
for damages arising out of an accident caused by his or her
If you have been injured in a car accident
caused by distraction, you may have a legal claim against the
distracted driver. It is every driver's responsibility to remain
alert behind the wheel, focused on the road. Pursuing a legal claim
against an irresponsible driver is not only a good way to secure the
compensation you deserve, it also incentivizes safe vehicle
operation. Talk to a New Jersey car accident lawyer today to learn
more about collecting compensation from a negligent driver or his or
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accidents are on the rise again in the United States for the first
time in several years, a recent study shows. Some experts believe
that shifting attitudes about drunk driving and other traffic safety
issues may be a factor in the troubling reversal.
reveals changing attitudes
A study conducted recently by the
American Automobile Association revealed significant changes in the
ways motorists across the country think about dangerous driving
behaviors. According to the survey, today's drivers are not as
concerned as they once were about the potential dangers of
distracted driving, drunk driving or other high-risk driving
In a 2009 survey of driver attitudes, 90 percent
of those questioned said they believed that drunk driving was a
danger to other motorists. In the recent AAA survey, however, only
69 percent of respondents said they believe drunk driving is a risk.
Some say these changing attitudes could be a factor behind the
recent spike in fatal car accidents nationwide.
The impact of
drunk driving in North Carolina
In 2011, there were 366
traffic deaths caused by drunk driving in North Carolina -- a rate
of about 3.8 drunk driving fatalities per 100,000 residents,
according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
That rate is higher than the national average of 3.2 impaired
driving deaths per 100,000 people.
NHTSA statistics show that
nearly 30 percent of motor vehicle fatalities in North Carolina in
2011 involved at least one driver who was legally intoxicated,
meaning that his or her blood alcohol content (BAC) was measured at
0.08 or higher. About one-fifth of those crashes involved a driver
whose BAC levels were at least 0.15, or nearly double the legal
Protecting your interests after a crash
have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, it is important that
you take steps to protect yourself as well as your legal and
financial interests. After a crash, it is likely that you will
receive offers from the insurance companies that are involved in
your case, but it is important to exercise caution and make sure you
understand your options before agreeing to settle your claims.
Frequently, insurance companies are more concerned with their
bottom lines than they are with making sure that you receive the
compensation you need for your injuries. Therefore, they may offer
to settle your claim for far less than you deserve. If you agree to
an offer too soon and without a thorough understanding of the
consequences, it can prevent you from having access to all of the
resources you need to support yourself and make an optimal recovery.
If you or a family member has been hurt in a North Carolina
traffic accident, discuss your situation with an experienced
personal injury attorney before making any decisions. This will help
ensure that you understand your legal rights and options, and will
allow you to move forward with confidence regardless of the path you
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Sexual Assault Driving Incident
A woman from Long Island
is suing a police officer based on allegations of sexual assault.
The woman claims the officer assaulted her while she was hand-cuffed
in the backseat of the squad car, according to a report by the NY
The case began when officers Rachel Miller and
Gary Zima stopped Jenny Hannigan in 2011. The officers suspected
that Ms. Hannigan was driving while intoxicated and arrested her.
She was handcuffed and placed in the backseat of the police cruiser.
At this time, Officer Zima allegedly joined Ms. Hannigan in the back
of the police vehicle. While his partner drove to the station,
Officer Zima allegedly sat close to the victim and, according to the
victim's statement, molested her while she was in their custody.
Details of the DUI stop
The young woman reported the crime to the Nassau County Police
Internal Affairs, a department designed to preserve the reputation
of the police department and investigate any allegations of
misconduct. To file a complaint, a person can visit any police
facility and speak with a supervisor, send a request to the Internal
Affairs Unit of Nassau County, speak with a desk officer over the
phone or send an email detailing the complaint. Within two weeks of
receiving the complaint, the department sends an acknowledgement
from an investigating officer. Once the investigation is completed,
results are sent to the person who requested the investigation.
After investigation, the complaint filed by Ms. Hannigan was
closed as "undetermined." Ms. Hannigan has now filed a federal
lawsuit against both the offending officer and his partner. The suit
claims the partner made no attempt to help the victim and seeks
$150,000 in compensation for the victim.
DUI stop basics
Officers conducting DUI stops in New York are required to follow
certain laws. Part of these laws include respecting the driver and
passenger's basic rights. Although officers who make these stops can
require the driver take a field sobriety test they cannot harass the
If the officer conducts a field sobriety test and the
results indicate that the driver was operating a vehicle with a
blood alcohol content (BAC) over New York's limit of 0.08, that
driver could be arrested and charged for driving while intoxicated,
or DWI. These charges come with severe penalties in New York,
potentially including imprisonment, monetary fines, high insurance
premiums and revocation of one's driver's license. As a result,
those charged with these crimes should take the charges seriously.
If the arresting officer did not follow New York or federal law
regarding proper conduct during a stop, the charges could be reduced
or even dropped. Contact an experienced New York DWI defense lawyer
to help better ensure your legal rights are protected.