Newsletter

High-tech Safety Features Cost More To Insure
Many people assume that safer cars always mean lower insurance rates. While this used to be true in the days of daytime running lights being a major safety innovation, many of today's advanced safety features do not lower premiums. High-tech features that require apps, computers and other expensive electronics to function are actually more expensive to insure.

High Safety Versus High Cost
Some of the best modern cars boast crash-prevention systems and other state-of-the-art technologies. From blind spot detection to parking assist, features that include sensors and cameras are costly but are included on most modern vehicles. One of the reasons why insurance for vehicles with these features is so expensive is because there are limited replacement parts. Another major expense is the cost of digitally calibrating a system when it is not working properly. 

Insurance companies say that safety features could contribute to reduced collision statistics in the future. However, they also point out that there are not enough of the newest vehicles with these features on the road to make a huge difference right now. Many drivers are still using older cars that lack some of the latest technologies, which work best around other vehicles with similar technologies. 

Accident rates are still high, and insurance companies pass on the costs to consumers in the form of rate increases. In 2016, one automotive company reported that nearly 15 percent of the cars it sold had anti-collision technology. According to insurance experts, about 50 percent of vehicles on the road should have such technology to reduce overall accident rates.

Insurance Costs Increase Everywhere
People who buy cars that are loaded with high-tech safety features are not the only individuals paying more for insurance. Every policyholder must pay more for liability coverage, which is the mandatory minimum for all drivers. If a driver who only carries liability coverage crashes into a new vehicle that is loaded with safety features, the driver is responsible for the higher damage costs. While insurance companies are keeping their increases below 10 percent, the rate changes are enough that drivers everywhere are noticing the difference. 

Safety Discounts
Some insurance companies still offer safety discounts for drivers who purchase vehicles with high-tech safety features. For all companies to offer discounts, accident rates will have to fall significantly across the country. The safety discounts are based on devices that drivers plug into cars with compatible technologies, and the devices measure driving habits. Another insurance company offers discounts for vehicles with rear-end safety braking. Experts say that 40 percent of crashes could be avoided if all cars had this technology.

While high-tech safety features may be great for improving safe driving, they are costly in new cars. For all budget shoppers, it is important to call an insurance agent to inquire about rates before buying a specific vehicle. Although this insurance issue may leave some drivers with tighter budgets dismayed now, the good news is that more companies will start offering discounts in the near future. To learn more about rates and changes, speak with an agent.

 

Top Habits And Misconceptions That Make The Roads More Dangerous
In recent years, motor vehicle deaths have increased significantly. The National Safety Council pinpointed some of the most common beliefs and behaviors of drivers that put everyone on the road at risk. During the past year, NSC surveys were collected to show the surprising rates of dangerous habits and opinions. Researchers said that these could especially explain why fatalities were on the rise. They also said that their findings showed the urgency of promoting awareness of misconceptions and dangerous habits. 

Experts said that while most drivers understand the basic dangers and risks on roadways, they do not take the proper steps to make their own driving habits safer. Many people still believe that bad things are more likely to happen to other drivers than to them. This is even true among drivers who admit to driving distracted. Many believe that they can safely manage distractions such as using a cell phone while driving. These were some of the top dangerous habits of American drivers according to the research report:

  • More than 45 percent of drivers said that it was safe to send text messages using voice dictation or manual input.
  • More than 70 percent of drivers said that they could drink three alcoholic beverages before they were too impaired to drive.
  • Approximately 35 percent of teens admitted to checking their social media notifications or interacting on social media while driving.
  • More than 15 percent of teens who were in accidents said that their own distractions were the cause of the crash.
  • More than 30 percent of drivers felt that they could drive safely with fewer than four hours of sleep.
  • Nearly 15 percent of drivers admitted to using marijuana while driving within the past month.
  • More than 30 percent of drivers felt that new vehicles could practically drive themselves and did not require as much concentration to operate.
  • While only 25 percent of drivers felt that their own distractions were dangerous, nearly 70 percent said that they were concerned about the risky behavior of other drivers.
  • About 45 percent of people said that they felt compelled to check cellphone notifications while driving because of demanding employers, and about 45 percent of those who reported feeling this way had crashed within the last few years.

The official awareness month for distracted driving is April. Council researchers try to remind motorists every year of the dangers of distracted driving and the realities of just how unsafe popular misconceptions are. To learn more about staying safer on the roads, speak with an agent. 

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