Auto Accidents: June 2009 Archives

June 15, 2009

Florida Car Accidents Caused by More than Bad Driving

Injuries from auto accidents in Broward County, Miami-Dade County, and Palm Beach County have been well documented on this site and can also be found strewn across the headlines on a daily basis. However, car accident injuries are not always caused by careless or reckless drivers running stoplights, failing to check their mirrors, or any of the numerous other negligent acts seen upon South Florida roads all too often. Rather, South Florida residents also need to be aware of a danger posed by vehicles that is often created before the car or truck hits the road; that is, the danger of unsecured or improperly secured loads and equipment and the projectiles they become on South Florida highways.

It is not uncommon to see debris upon the roadways--everything from couch pillows to scrap metal. Much of the larger debris is the result of improperly secured loads on flat-bed tractor-trailers or pickup trucks. Other debris littered upon our roads is from vehicle equipment lost from vehicles while driving, garbage tossed from cars, and other illegal dumping. This debris is so dangerous because it can smash through windows, cause the driver to take emergency evasive maneuvers, and flatten tires or cause other vehicular damages. The accidents caused by flying debris and roadway debris are often more severe because drivers are often unable to anticipate the debris in time to safely avoid it.

Just recently, a large metal gate flew off of a trailer and smashed in to the windshield of a car traveling in Dania Beach, Florida. According to reports, the driver of car survived the accident with only minor scratches to his head and arms. Luckily, the driver's eyes were protected from the flying glass by they sunglasses he was wearing at the time. The driver of the truck pulling the trailer was cited for failing to properly secure his load.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety recognized the danger of road debris and the resultant auto accidents and injuries and developed a report on the causes and results of such debris. The Foundation estimated that there were 25,217 crashes in the United States directly related to road debris. Of those crashes, 8,012 involved injury to the occupants and 76 were fatal.

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June 7, 2009

Reducing Your Insurance Rates While Maintaining Quality Insurance

 

The cost to insure your vehicles is "all over the place". Buyers should definitely shop around in order to get the least expensive rates. BUT HOLD ON: Saving a few insurance dollars but going from a good insurance carrier to one that's bad, doesn't make good sense. You have to weigh the price savings against the quality of the service AND payments that you'll get if you make a claim with your insurance carrier, or a claim is made against you or a family member.

The first factor to consider is the quality of the company. We maintain a rating of all major insurance carriers on our website, grading them from A to F, with an "A" meaning the company pays liability claims and uninsured motorist claims extremely reasonably, and attempts to avoid litigation (court), if at all possible. The "F" company will 'chince you to death'. With a lower rated company, you're much more likely to end up in a courtroom, or at least in litigation, than an "A" rated company.

You should simply get the best company in light of the rates that are charged.

Company rates may vary based upon large numbers of factors, such as discounts for drivers over certain ages, surcharges for drivers under certain ages, etc.

What kind of deductible that you can afford will also affect your insurance premiums. You should always take the highest deductible that you can afford to take, understanding that if you are in an accident, you possibly will have to come out of pocket for that deductible.

At minimum, always purchase uninsured motorist coverage equal to your bodily injury liability coverage. In addition, try to purchase stacking coverage if you have more than one resident relative vehicle in your household, as stacking coverage will, for example, double your coverage if you have two resident relative vehicles in your household.

Medical payments coverage is probably a coverage that you can do without if you and your family members have major medical health insurance coverage. Alternatively, if you have an HMO, you may want to consider purchasing additional medical payments coverage.

Other coverages such as rental, towing, storage, etc. are so infrequently used, and not mandatory, that you can avoid purchasing them.

An excellent article recently written that you should review before purchasing or renewing your insurance is called: "Your 5-minute guide to car insurance".

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