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JULY 08, 2020 BY JANICE RUSSELL - PARENTING DISASTERS
One of the most dangerous things we all do on a regular basis is jump in the car, whether it’s a quick trip to the grocery store or to head out for afternoon hike with the family. While it’s easy to feel safe and therefore complacent while driving, it’s important to be prepared — both physically and financially — in the event of a car accident.
Most of us who drive probably think we’re pretty safe, but how many times have you checked a text message while behind the wheel? This type of distracted driving is unfortunately all too common, and has been the source of countless accidents and deaths since the advent of mobile phones. According to one report, 14 percent of all fatal car crashes involved cell phone use while driving, and teens and young adults are more likely to use their phones while driving.
Luckily for parents with teen drivers, there are ways to make it safer to use a phone while driving. For example, you can greatly reduce the risk of an accident by going hands-free and using either a phone mount for your car or by buying technology that can allow you to use your phone without taking your eyes off the road. A few great budget-friendly hands-free items to consider for your car include a speaker that clips onto your sun visor, speaker headsets that can connect wireless to your phone, or wireless FM transmitters. Aim to use stores with free shipping when you’re shopping online, and look for discounts and promo codes while browsing.
Other distractions to consider are your vehicle occupants: kids and pets are also causes of distracted driving accidents. Make sure your children are seated with seat belts on and ensure any pets are also strapped in with harnesses and seat belts. If your teen often drives around with friends in the car, be sure to educate them on the dangers of distracted driving.
After you’ve addressed distracted driving risks, think about ways to improve the physical safety of your vehicle. Be sure to regularly service your vehicle to ensure its road-worthiness, and routinely inspect features such as headlights, windshield wipers, and tires to be sure they’re all in working condition. Doing a safety inspection at home is especially important before a road trip with the family, so you can rest assured your vehicle is in good working order.
If you’re considering buying a new vehicle, research its safety ratings to help you choose. Newer cars are often equipped with safety features such as technology that can detect blind spots and automatic braking, but there are plenty of budget-friendly older vehicles that are great options for families as well. If you’re buying a used vehicle, be sure to obtain its history record so you can ensure it hasn’t been in any prior accidents.
Even if you do everything right — eliminating distractions and inspecting your vehicle for safety — accidents still happen. This is why it’s important to have comprehensive car insurance for all your vehicles and healthcare insurance from AJM Associates for your family. Many types of car insurance will help cover medical costs, but if your family is involved in an accident and one of your family members requires ongoing medical care, you’ll need health insurance to help afford treatments.
As you think about ways to make your daily driving safer for you and your family, remember that distracted driving is preventable. Find a budget-friendly phone mount for your car, or shop online for a good deal on hands-free technology for your phone. Keep regularly inspecting your car for safety, and be sure to get a car and health insurance to cover your family.