I’ve read many reports on the dangers of texting or being on the phone wile driving over the past few years. For example, about 6,000 deaths and a half a million injuries are caused by distracted drivers every year. A couple of weeks ago I nearly became part of that statistic. I was driving, and my wife Shannon was in the passenger seat and my two sons Mason and Ethan were in the back. It was a gray drizzly day out and we were just cruising along when my wife mentioned that she liked a fence that was in the yard of a house we were driving by. As I glanced over to look at it my wife had just turned her attention back to the road and gasped! When I quickly looked ahead there was a car that had drifted into our lane about to hit me head-on the drivers side! I had only a split second to cut the wheel to avoid getting hit. The car came so close to hitting us that I felt the rush of wind come through my windows as the car blew by us. Needless to say it scared the daylights out of all of us. It happened so quickly and was mostly a blur, but one thing I remember when I cut the wheel was the kid driver looking down at his phone similar to the photo above. When we calmed down I remember saying to my wife that there has got to be an App out that can stop people from texting or using the phone while driving. There was probably some additional options available, but I did a little research and asked some friends and here is what I’ve found to be some of the more popular Apps.
Canary: This app for iOS and Android devices lets parents see their child’s cell phone use in real time, so they know if it’s being sued while driving more than 12 mph. It also records time when the cell phone was used, and notifies parents if the teen disables it. Canary requires a paid subscription after a trial period.
DriveMode: This free Android and Blackberry app for AT&T customers automatically launches when the car is moving at more than 25 mph, responding to all incoming texts and emails, letting the sender know that the recipient is driving and will get back to them soon. Beeps are temporarily disabled and calls are sent directly to voicemail.
iGuardian Teen: This free Android app gives parents the full virtual picture of what their teen is doing in the car, including monitoring the speed they are driving, the distance they travel and their phone usage.
TextBuster: This system requires that you install a hardware device into your teen’s car. The password protected app notifies the hardware every time your teen gets in the car, temporarily disabling text messaging, email and Internet access while the car is moving. However, it does allow the phone to make and receive calls, as well as use GPS functions. The system costs just under $200.
Textecution: This $30 Android app cuts off texting ability if the device is moving faster than 10 mph. Passengers can request an override but it has to be allowed by an “administrator” who, like the Canary parent, gets notified if the teen tries to disable it. Loading this app can be complicated and requires you turn off some of the security features in your phone.
Lastly, I do want to point out that it’s not just teens. I see people of all ages all the time on the road either looking down at their phones or with a phone to their ear. Admittedly, I do it too sometimes, but never when my kids are in the car with me. My kids do not drive yet, but when they do I don’t want them to think back and say, “Hey, Dad texts all the time when he’s in the car so I can too, it’s no big deal” Because the reality is that it is a very big deal.
I hope you found this helpful!
Laurie Yelding has been named a Safeco® Community Hero and United Way of Naugatuck and Beacon Falls will be receiving a $5,000 donation from Safeco Insurance on her behalf. Now we have a chance at an additional $10,000 grant if Laurie Yelding is named America’s Favorite Safeco Community Hero!
You can vote once every 24 hours until 1PM EDT June 3, 2013
Do you know the difference between a standard or preferred policy versus a nonstandard policy?
Most people don’t.
I run into several situations with clients who are switching to us, who did not realize they had a nonstandard policy. A standard or preferred policy is for average drivers with decent driving record and credit scores. A nonstandard policy is for risky drivers, those that have a lot of speeding tickets or have a younger driver, a lot of specialty cars are also covered under nonstandard policies. Nonstandard policies are not bad, but sometimes they can have a lot of exclusions, that can put you at a disadvantage.
A lot of times when people get insurance policies they assume that all policies are the same, which is not always the case. Sometimes you will find a policy that is a good rate, for the same coverage’s as a policy with a higher rate. However, sometimes the policy exclusions or coverage’s are overlooked and may be different.
Nonstandard car insurance accounts for about a fifth of the private passenger auto insurance market according to industry analyst Conning & Co. Because most of these policies are geared toward risky drivers or those with specialty vehicles the exclusions and what is covered may be listed.
Some common things to look out for, first the step down provisions. If you have a risky younger driver, your policy may have full coverage for you and partial coverage if they are driving or if you lend your car out to someone other than you to use. Another thing to look out for is depreciation, if your car is in an accident or even going for repairs they will take into account depreciation, so you will only get a percent of the full cost to replace or repair something. A third thing to look out for is excluded liability and physical coverage if you use your car for business in any way. For example, if you decide to take a part time job delivering pizza or newspapers, this would be considered using your car for business, even if your car is your own. Finally if you have a specialty car, they may have a cap for how much mileage you can have that they cover.
Concerned? Here are some things you can do:
The bottom line is to be aware of your coverage’s, and make sure that you are comparing apples to apples and getting the same or better coverage’s. We at the Chittenden Group, always try to make sure our customers are fully covered and aware of what their coverage’s entail. If you have any questions, feel free to call or speak with Dawn or Liz, your Chittenden Customer Service Representatives.
Your Friends at the Chittenden Group,
The Chittenden Group has given us peace of mind and exceptional service when it comes to our business insurance needs. They were able to better meet our needs than we thought possible. Their friendly and knowledgeable staff is wonderful to work with and always exceed our expectations. Service and timeliness as well as quality service are very important to us. Knowing we can trust that something has been done to completion without double checking is the most important. The Chittenden Group has given us that piece of mind and responsive service. We couldn’t be more pleased!
EDCO Engineering Inc
On March 3rd, Pedro our Vice President at Chittenden and several others gathered for the St. Baldrick’s Team Brent “shave-a-thon” in Fairfield. Participants shave their heads in exchange for donations toward cures for childhood cancers. The event day raised $125,000 and Pedro’s team raised $5,000. According to their website, St. Baldrick events like Team Brent fund more childhood cancer research grants than any organization besides the US government.
Photo courtesy of Heidi Curran Photography
Our Sr. Vice President, Joseph L. Ferry Jr. received the United Way Van Allen Medal. The Medal was created in 2007 to honor the Van Allens and recognize people for extraordinary service to the community as a whole, not just United Way.
We are very proud to have Joseph on our staff, giving back to our community is important to Chittenden Group and we commend a job well done.
Here is the link to the full news article from Citizens News.
Happy Birthday to our Vice President, Pedro!
How are you preparing for the snowstorm that is supposed to be of historic levels tomorrow?
Here are some good tips to be prepared!
What do you think of some of these crazy laws?