At Charlotte High School in Florida, one volunteer is on a mission to get high school students to stop texting and driving. At lunchtime, she asks the students to sign a petition in which they pledge to not text behind the wheel. When they sign this petition, students receive a “Texting Kills” bracelet. She has ordered enough bracelets for every student at the school and then some.
Click here for more about this effort.
The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia and police in that same area have begun to crack down on distracted driving. According to them, driving while operating a mobile electronic device is the third biggest contributor to fatal car crashes. Texting while driving makes it 23 times more likely to crash, whereas talking on the phone makes you four times more likely to be in an accident. In British Columbia, driving while using a cell phone is punishable by a $167 fine.
Click here to learn more about this campaign.
A new survey suggests that being in a car crash while texting or knowing someone who has are the first and second most effective ways to reduce the dangerous practice. Clearly these are not methods which could be utilized in the drive to keep teens safe on the road. The survey does provide a third finding which is both sensible and far more feasible. Tougher penalties for being caught texting while driving along with more prudent enforcement of the law were suggested as deterrents by more than 80% of the teens polled by Harris Interactive.
Click here to learn more about these findings.
Kickboard USA has announced the voluntary recall of approximately 5,600 scooter products. The recall is for the three-wheeled Mini Micro scooter. This product contains a plastic platform that can break and thus lacerate children using the item. Model numbers include MM0079, MM0080, MM0109, and MM0113. If you have this product, please discontinue use immediately and contact the company for a replacement.
For more about the recall, click here.
Around 21,000 Kenmore Elite and LG Electronics gas dryers sold by Sears and other retailers have been recalled due to a fire hazard. There have been over 100 complaints about the heat not turning off automatically after the dry cycle is complete. There have also been reports of minor injuries and damage to clothing. Sears and LG can be contacted to obtain free repairs.
For more about the recall, click here.
Monro Muffler, an auto repair company with 800 locations throughout the United States, has reached a settlement in which they have vowed to implement safer work practices. The settlement with the Department of Labor follows a hydraulic lift incident at its Stoughton, Massachusetts location. The settlement will require Monro Muffler to institute regular mechanical checks of its hydraulic lift equipment and pay fines of $12,500 for the previous incident. The incident in April 2011 that prompted the citation involved a car falling from the lift to the ground at the Stoughton store.
For more about this settlement, click here.
The Meramec region of the state of Missouri is mobilizing a committee to investigate and educate people about the risks of driving while distracted and other dangerous driving habits. While the state as a whole has experienced fewer traffic accidents within the last year, the eight-county Meramec region reported an increase. Although cellphone use is thought of as the main distraction to most motorists, other activities such as eating and smoking cause accidents as well.
Follow this link to learn more about this coalition.
In March, Pennsylvania’s anti-texting while driving law went into effect. However, the number of citations issued by the Pennsylvania State Police for the offense is thus far very low. As of the beginning of August, the number of citations issued by the organization was just 73, while the number of tickets issued by the Philadelphia Police Department was 153.
Click here for more information.
In order to show the dangers of distracted driving, Allstate set up a Teen Safe Driving Challenge at Comerica Park in Detroit on Monday. Teens were asked to drive through a closed course while driving instructors sent them texts to distract them. The teens were then given a post-driving evaluation to show their performance while distracted.
To learn more about this event, click here.
Calculating automobile insurance premiums is rarely a cut and dried affair. Although certain things like a driving record and the number of citations accrued by a driver over time certainly factor into an insurance carrier’s calculations, they’re often not as important as some might think. Instead, the Insurance Information Institute stresses that there are a number of other contributors that might affect how much a consumer can expect to pay for auto insurance. Here are a few of those factors.
Many people probably fail to realize that a negative credit score can adversely impact their ability to get a reasonable premium on their auto insurance. In fact, the National Association of Insurance Carriers says that a bad credit score might actually prevent a consumer from being able to even obtain certain insurance plans. However, it’s important to note that, in some states, it’s against the law to hold a bad credit score against an insurance candidate. Consult your state’s laws to see where your particular area stands on the matter.
Credit score applicability is not the only factor that will vary depending on your locale though. If you live in the middle of a city often beset by gridlock, you can expect to pay higher rates because of the heightened chances of an accident in such areas. Plus, more claims tend to be filed in highly populated areas because of the increased prevalence of theft. In Miami, for instance, rates are high because criminals can use the port to whisk stolen goods away quicker than in other places. And in New Jersey, lawsuits are far more commonplace than in most other parts of the country, meaning that motorists in the area can expect to pay higher rates to offset the costs.
Most people know that they can expect to pay higher rates if they’re younger than 25, but perhaps not everyone is aware that their rates are likely to decrease even further once they hit 50. If you get married? Lower rates again, as carriers tend to perceive spouses as being more responsible drivers. But if you’re a man, you can expect to pay higher rates than your female counterparts, as the male demographic has statistically been known to be involved in more crashes.
Finally, the vehicle you drive plays a large role in what you can expect to pay. Convertibles are more expensive to ensure than other cars, as it’s relatively simple to pry the roof away and steal the car or anything inside. If you’ve improved your engine or installed such eye-drawing parts as a spoiler, your rates might also increase. However, newer cars that fare well in safety ratings can mean a reduced insurance rate. Older models tend to be easier to steal and might not have safety equipment that’s now standard, so insurance for those vehicles tends to be pricier.