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Shopping for auto insurance can be a real chore, especially with how competitive rates are getting and every company offering “the lowest prices,” but here are some tips on finding the best discounts on your car insurance.
Peer pressure has a huge affect on teens. Smoking, drinking… even getting into a car accident.
According to two studies by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and State Farm, peer pressure from passengers can result in a car accident when a teen is behind the wheel. We know, it seems like a “duh, of course” kind of conclusion… did we really need a study to tell us that? But what researchers can now prove with studies like these is how peer pressures increases a teen driver’s crash risk.
“These studies help us understand the factors that may predispose teens to drive with multiple friends and how those passengers may contribute to crashes by distracting the driver and promoting risky driving behaviors, such as speeding, tailgating or weaving,” said Allison Curry, a study author. “Knowing this, we can develop programs that work in tandem with current graduated driver licensing laws that limit the number of passengers for teens during their first year of driving.”
In the first study, researchers found that the teens drivers that were most likely to drive with multiple passengers considered themselves thrill seekers and shared similar characteristics that would increase the likelihood of a car accident. The second study looked at teens involved in serious crashes, and drivers that had peer passengers were more likely to be distracted just before a crash.
In terms of male and female peer pressure driving habits, males that drove with passengers were about six times more likely to impress their friends by pulling illegal driving stunts and were twice as likely to drive aggressively just before a crash. Females, on the other hand, hardly ever drive aggressively prior to a crash – and that’s with or without passengers.
Parents, if you want to set a good example for your teens while you’re teaching them how to drive, put down your cell phone. A new study out says that parents are prone to check their phones while teaching driving skills.
This study, which was conducted by State Farm, surveyed 517 teens and their parents to find out how teens learn to drive. The study found that 61 percent of teens say their parents have been distracted by their phone at least once while teaching them to drive. It goes on to say that 29 percent of teens say their parents have been distracted sometimes, often, or all the time while giving the driving lesson.
When talking to the parents, 53 percent of them admit to being distracted at least once while teaching their teens how to drive. And disagreeing with what their teens said,only 17 percent of parents say that they are distracted sometimes, often, or all the time.
When it’s the parent’s turn to drive, 54 percent of teens say they have seen parents talk while driving either sometimes, often, or all the time, while 43 percent of parents admit to doing it with their teens present.
Other interesting numbers to come out of this study include that 24 percent of parents and 30 percent of teens say they aren’t spending enough time learning how to drive. Teens need about 100 hours of driving practice before taking the car out on their own, and parents need to practice what they preach – which means paying complete attention to what their teen driver is doing behind the wheel.
[Source: Consumer Reports]
Fall is a lovely time of year and a great time to travel the scenic roads to take advantage of the views the changing seasons have to offer. But keep your eye out for deer – they’re out on the roads and can cause serious car accidents.
According to new study by insurance company State Farm, deer collisions have dropped for the past three years. Over this past year, the decline has been about three times more than the previous two years combined. In the U.S. from July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011, about 1.09 million accidents were the result of deer and vehicles collisions, which is down seven percent over last year. Even though accidents are down, the cost of property damage for these accidents is up to $3,171 – that’s an increase of over two percent from 2010.
As for states that report the most deer and vehicle collisions, West Virginia tops the list for the fifth year in a row – in the next 12 months, the odds of this type of accident happening are 1 in 53. Iowa comes in second at 1 in 77, followed by South Dakota (1 in 81), Pennsylvania (1 in 86), Michigan (1 in 90). Rounding out the top 10 are Montana, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wyoming. The state with the least amount of deer and vehicle accidents is Hawaii, with odds of just 1 in 6,267.
Even though the numbers have dropped, it’s important to keep in mind that October, November, and December are prime deer mating and migration season, so expect to see them wandering around more frequently in the fall.
If you’re going out for a scenic drive, keep these precautions in mind:
- Deer are particularly active around dawn and between the hours of 6 to 9 p.m.
- Look out for deer-crossing signs and wooded areas where deer or other animals travel.
- Slow down if you see an animal on the side of the road, and use your high-beams at night (if possible).
- Brake, don’t swerve. Swerving to avoid an animal may cause you to hit another vehicle or lose control of your own car. Just slow down as quickly and safely as you can.
- Remember that deer travel in groups, so if you see one run across the road, others are probably right behind it.
- Always buckle up.
[Source: Consumer Reports]
If you have a car insurance policy with State Farm, you may be interested in adding on the company’s new In-Drive services system. This system will help you out with emergency response assistance, roadside assistance, stolen vehicle tracking, vehicle diagnostic alerts and maintenance alerts.
Partnering with Huges Telematics, State Farm’s In-Drive system is an easy-to-install device that works in most vehicles made after 1995. It’s great for those of you who want the new connected vehicle services without buying a new car.
A feature that parents of teen drivers will especially like is that they can receive speed and location alerts on their vehicle while another family member is behind the wheel. On top of that, State Farm can use the system to monitor your driving habits – this is an optional service called Drive Safe and Save. If you choose to opt in, In-Drive will provide driving performance data and your savings will be based on mileage, turns, acceleration, braking, speed and time of day vehicle is operated. State Farm says the savings can be anywhere from 10 to 50 percent.
The In-Drive system services are available in three different packages. For the first six months, the basic package will be free after a $10 activation fee. Other packages will range in cost from $5 a month to $14.99 a month, plus applicable taxes.
We actually think this app will do more harm than good, but hey, State Farm is an insurance company so they clearly took calculated risks prior to releasing this. Their Driver Feedback app utilizes the iPhone’s GPS and accelerometer to calculate your driving, from acceleration to braking to cornering. It then calculates your score based on your driving which you can then compare to other trips and share your scores with other drivers.
While most people will want to try to get a high score with this app, we’re pretty sure there will be a portion of people who might go do some hard driving to see just how awful they can score. But hey, if any of you are interested in knowing just how awesome (or how awful) your normal driving skills are…there’s an app for that.
Check out a video of the app after the break.
If you’ve ever wondered as to the mental capacity of your fellow commuters, here’s a statistic that will confirm your deepest suspicions: 19 percent of drivers admit to browsing the Internet from their cell phones, while on the road.
That’s one in five drivers, according to a survey conducted in November by insurance company State Farm. Of course, this could be low among certain groups of drivers for the 912 people the company asked, and State Farm plans to conduct another study soon. Why? Most of the people who admitted to playing with their smartphones while driving were teenagers and younger drivers—usually the least experienced on the road, which could lead to massive carnage.
Those who go online while going on the highway acknowledge the dangers, but aren’t too concerned about it—the study found that these drivers would only change their behavior after they’ve been in some sort of accident. Hopefully nobody will be seriously hurt or killed when that happens—and hopefully, it won’t involve you.
[Source: USA Today]
Anybody who’s anybody has their own app, and now you can add State Farm to the list of trend setters. This one will hopefully cut down on a few claims, as State Farm’s Android application automatically responds to text messages while you’re driving.
The new widget, called the “On the Move” widget, lets Android smartphone users to compose and preload customized messages that are sent as automated responses to incoming text messages. That means you can keep your eyes on the road and let the app respond to text messages for you. It tells texters that you’re busy at the moment, but will get back to them as soon as you can. It’s free to anyone with an Android smartphone as part of State Farm’s updated Pocket Agent for Android application.
“It is our hope that this widget will prevent crashes and save lives,” said Laurette Stiles, Strategic Resources vice president at State Farm. “This new service will help drivers manage the temptation to read or respond to text messages when they are behind the wheel. We wanted to make this widget available free-of-charge as just one of the ways we’re working to keep our roadways safe for drivers.”
With the app, Android owners can compose their own responses and save them for future use. It works with all incoming texts, or can be directed at those in your address book. Before you drive you car away, just activate the service and catch up on your texts when you get to your destination. Activating the service prior to driving is just one way to use the widget.
To activate the auto-response function, just turn on the widget and write or pick an auto-response message. Any text messages you get still come through and can be accessed in your inbox at any time.
Check out a video demonstration of the App after the jump: