Save a Life: Don’t Be a Distracted Driver

You’ve seen them on the roads; you might even know a few of them. 

You could be one yourself.

Distracted drivers in come in all shapes, sizes, ages, and experience levels. Even if you’re not one today, you could become one at any moment — in the time it takes you to answer your phone or check the kids in the back seat. 

If you or someone else you know thinks you can drive just fine while talking on your phone, think about this: More than 390,000 people were injured in crashes that reportedly involved distracted driving in 2015, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In 2016, 3,450 people were killed as a result of distracted driving. 

Distractions on the road come in many forms, according to www.distraction.gov, a U.S. Department of Transportation website. There are three main kinds of distractions:

Visual –taking your eyes off the road

Manual –taking your hands off the wheel

Cognitive –taking your mind off what you’re doing

To help you avoid all three kinds of distractions the next time you’re behind the wheel of your car:

• Put your phone in silent mode and store it away from the front seat or in a purse or bag. Doing so will help reduce temptation.

• Have a passenger answer your phone or return text messages for you.

• If a call or a text can’t wait, pull over in a safe spot before using your phone.

• This one seems obvious, but finish shaving or applying makeup before you get in the car!

• If you’re emotional, wait until you’ve calmed down before hitting the road. 

Your car is no place for multi-tasking. Focus on driving safely – for yourself, your passengers, and everyone else on the road.

Make sure you and your family are fully protected on the road. The Wurzel Insurance Agency is here for you! Give us a call at (407) 977-5700 to speak with one of our experienced agents, or email us: hello@wurzelagency.com.

You’ve been in an accident, now what?

Auto accidents can be very scary events, and in the aftermath, you can feel confused and unsure of what to do next. After you have received the medical attention that you need, it’s time to call your insurance agent. The team at The Wurzel Agency understands how traumatic accidents can be, especially when you are also dealing with medical issues. Our team is here to help you throughout the entire claims process and get you back to your regular routine here in the Oviedo, FL area.

What to do after you’ve been in an accident

Once you have been in an accident the first thing to do is contact the police to file a report. Even if you don’t feel injured, it’s always a good idea to have a check-up to make sure that you don’t have any injuries that maybe haven’t become noticeable yet. Once you have the medical attention that you need, it’s time to file your insurance claim. If you work with an online insurance company, you will be on your own.

However, if you have a local insurance agent working with you, the process can be a lot less stressful. Filing an insurance claim is not impossible, but when you are also dealing with possible medical issues and car repairs it can be the last thing that you want to do! We recommend that you contact your agent right away to get the process started and get your life back to normal as soon as possible.

Contact the team at The Wurzel Agency is you want the specialized attention that will help make the claims process less stressful. We are here to provide the greater Oviedo, FL community with attentive service no matter the situation. Call or stop by today!

3 Ways to Lower Insurance Costs for Your Teen Driver

If you’re the parent of a teen, you know how expensive it is — cell phones, sports activities, video games. When a teen starts driving, most parents pay the car insurance as well. Car insurance can be very expensive for teenagers due to their lack of experience on the road. Statistics show that teen drivers are involved in a higher number of accidents with fatal or critical injuries than more experienced, older drivers.

Looking for ways to decrease the cost of auto insurance for your teen drivers?

1. Check for a good student discount. In the eyes of an insurance company, teenagers who do well in school appear more responsible — and your teen doesn’t have to be an honor student to qualify! Each insurance company has its own definition of a good student. You can also enroll your teen in a driver’s education course, even if it isn’t required in your state. Your insurance agent can advise you on whether a driver’s education course will lower your insurance premiums.

2. Choose an older model car for your teenager. Your teen might hope for that shiny new sports car, but the insurance costs on sports cars are astronomical, as they are tied to the horsepower rating of the car as well as the theft rate. Older cars have a lower book value, which in turn reduces the insurance premium.

3. Raising your deductible could be an option. A higher deductible means lower monthly premiums. We recommend saving the difference in a special account — in case of an accident, you can use it to pay the deductible. Remember, be proactive when adding a new driver to your existing insurance policy. Do your research, and ask your agent! Discounts are out there if you know where to look.

Who Is Considered At-Fault in an Auto Accident?

Determining who is legally responsible in an auto accident requires identifying who the negligent party is. In most cases, it’s a matter of common sense, but often drivers don’t know exactly which laws were broken by the at-fault party. This makes it more difficult to prove a case to an insurer when making a claim.

When you’re not sure who did what, where can you find out?

1. Police Reports

If you or the other party called the police or 911 after the accident to report injuries, there will be a police report, and you can contact your local law enforcement traffic division to ask for a copy of the report.

Many police reports contain a responding officer’s opinion about who was at-fault. If one party clearly violated any laws, the officer will have documented it in the report.

Typically, any mention of the other party breaking traffic laws will be enough to tell your insurer that you were not at fault.

2. State Laws

If the report doesn’t have the information you need, you can also search your state traffic laws to find out whether the other party violated the law.

You can often find information on the DMV website. A driver handbook also will typically outline most instances of traffic violations. The handbooks are written in laymen’s terms so they are easy to understand.

3. No-Doubt Liability

In some accidents, the other driver is almost always considered at-fault.

For example, if another motorist hits the back of your car, the insurance company will typically consider them at-fault because they were most likely following too closely or failed to react in time when you put on your brakes.

A basic rule of the road in every state is that a driver should follow the vehicle ahead at a safe enough distance to be able to stop even if the other person brakes suddenly.

In a rear-end accident, the damage itself may serve as proof. One driver’s vehicle will be damaged on the front end, and the other driver’s vehicle will have damage to the rear.

However, even if you were rear-ended, there are still a few situations where your own carelessness may be considered a contributing factor to the accident, including brake lights that needed to be replaced or other mechanical issues that should have been repaired.

Left-turn accidents also don’t leave much wiggle room for which driver is considered at-fault. Anyone turning left who is struck by a vehicle going straight from the opposite direction is considered at-fault unless: 1) They were making the left turn at a green arrow; 2) they were at a 4-way stop and had the right-of-way; or 3) the oncoming vehicle was speeding excessively, making it difficult to judge the distance for a safe turn.