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Brake Safety Week Tips for Fleet Managers and Drivers

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Aug 06, 2022

Follow these truck brake safety tips to help you reduce accidents and save on truck insurance in Philadelphia, Reading, Lancaster, Erie, Pittsburgh, Allentown and throughout Pennsylvania.The best way to lower Commercial Truck Insurance costs is to minimize the risk of accidents, including brake failure. A U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration study found that the most common vehicle equipment-related cause of truck crashes was brake failure, accounting for 29.4% of all truck crashes in the study. 

Brake failure can result from defects, poor maintenance, or a driver’s actions. For example, overusing brakes can affect brake performance. While not all brake failures are avoidable, many are, which makes a focus on brake safety key to minimizing the risk of accidents.

CVSA Brake Safety Week

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) Brake Safety Week - August 21-27 – focuses on brake safety. It is “an annual commercial motor vehicle brake-safety inspection, enforcement, and education initiative conducted by law enforcement jurisdictions in Canada, Mexico, and the U.S.” 

According to data from last year’s Brake Safety Week, “brake systems and brake adjustment violations accounted for 38.9% of all vehicle out-of-service violations, the most of any category of vehicle violations.” 

The following are two of the goals of Brake Safety Week. Both can help minimize the risk of accidents and help lower Commercial Truck Insurance costs:

  • Encourage proactive vehicle maintenance in advance of the week.
  • Remind drivers and motor carriers about the importance of proper brake maintenance and vehicle pre-trip and post-trip inspections. 

According to CVSA, if you are stopped during Brake Safety Week, inspectors will perform the following checks:

  • Look for missing, non-functioning, loose, contaminated or cracked parts on the brake system, non-manufactured holes (such as rust holes and holes created by rubbing or friction), and broken springs in the spring brake housing section of the parking brake.
  • Listen for audible air leaks around brake components and lines, and ensure the air system maintains air pressure between 90-100 psi (620-690 kPa).
  • Check for S-cam flip-over and measure pushrod travel.
  • Check that slack adjusters are the same length (from the center of the S-cam to the center of the clevis pin) and the air chambers on each axle are the same size.
  • Inspect required brake-system warning devices, such as ABS malfunction lamp(s) and low air-pressure warning devices.
  • Ensure the breakaway system is operable on the trailer, and inspect the tractor protection system, including the bleed-back system on the trailer.
  • Capture and provide data on brake hose/tubing chafing violations – the focus of this year’s Brake Safety Week.

Brake Safety Tips for Owners/Fleet Managers:

  1. Ensure drivers receive appropriate safety training
  2. Develop a culture of safety
  3. Take time to spec the best brakes for your vehicle and drivers’ needs
  4. Develop inspection checklists
  5. Conduct routine daily, weekly, and monthly inspections
  6. Perform regular maintenance on all vehicles
  7. Customize maintenance to brake type – hydraulic, air, or exhaust.
  8. Properly grease components
  9. Monitor mileage on your brake systems
  10. Replace brake shoes and other parts regularly
  11. Use Telematics Data to detect hard braking, speeding, and other hazardous driving behaviors.

Brake Safety Tips for Drivers:


  1. Perform pre- and post-trip inspections
  2. Watch air pressure levels
  3. Monitor your driving to ensure you are driving at safe speeds and maintaining safe following distances.

Lower Your Commercial Truck Insurance Costs

In addition to ensuring safer vehicles and drivers to minimize the risk of accidents, another way to lower Commercial Truck Insurance costs is to work with one of the experienced independent insurance agents at American Insuring Group.

Not only do we specialize in commercial truck insurance to ensure you have the proper coverage, but as independent agents, we also check with multiple insurance companies to ensure you pay the lowest premium for reliable coverage.

Call us today at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or connect with us online.

Tags: Commercial Vehicle Insurance, truck insurance, Trucking Insurance, Safe Driving Tips

30 Truck Driver Safety Tips for Lower Truck Insurance Costs

Posted by David Ross on Wed, Jul 20, 2022

Truck-Driver-Safety-Insurance-Savings-30-Tips.jpgThe key to lowering Commercial Truck Insurance costs is to incur fewer claims, and the key to fewer claims is safer drivers. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), 4,842 large trucks were involved in fatal accidents last year (a 33% increase since 2011), and 107,000 large trucks were involved in accidents resulting in an injury. 

We understand that sometimes accidents are unavoidable. However, in crashes where a large truck was the leading cause of an accident, 87% were caused by the driver, while 10% were due to the vehicle and 3% to the environment, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) "Large Truck Crash Causation Study."

If you are a driver, it is your responsibility to understand how you can minimize the risk of an accident for your own well-being and the well-being of other people on the road. If you are a fleet manager, it is your responsibility to provide proper training, create and enforce a driver safety policy, and make fleet maintenance a priority for the well-being of your drivers and your business.

 Here are 30 safety tips for truck drivers:

  1. Take care of your health by eating, exercising, and getting enough sleep.
  2. Avoid drugs and alcohol
  3. Wear comfortable clothing
  4. Plan your route based on weather, road conditions, traffic patterns, construction, etc.
  5. Monitor the weather and adjust as needed
  6. Perform a thorough pre-trip inspection
  7. Perform a thorough post-trip inspection and record or report any issues
  8. Adjust the steering wheel, seat, mirrors, etc. to maximize comfort
  9. Know where everything is in your truck's interior
  10. Take regular breaks and move around
  11. Wear your seatbelt – According to the CDC, "Buckling up is both effective and required by federal regulations. But 1 in 6 drivers of large trucks don't use their seat belts (2013). More than 1 in 3 truck drivers who died in crashes in 2012 were not wearing seat belts. Buckling up could have prevented up to 40% of these deaths."
  12. Don't use your cell phone while driving
  13. Stay alert at all times and especially in school and work zones
  14. Be aware of speed limits and stay within those limits (they're there for a reason)
  15. Maintain proper stopping distance
  16. Know when you're tired
  17. Check your mirrors every 8-10 seconds to know when vehicles are entering your blind spot.
  18. Scan ahead to identify traffic issues, work zones, etc.
  19. Make wide turns carefully
  20. Use your turn signals to give other drivers notice of your intent
  21. Stay focused and avoid distractions
  22. Maintain your vehicle
  23. When in work zones, slow down, maintain extra following space, obey signs, scan for changing traffic patterns, and be prepared to stop
  24. Practice defensive driving
  25. Slow down for curves and turns
  26. Don't be afraid to ask for help
  27. Park safely
  28. Stay centered in your lane
  29. Be careful when getting in and out of your truck – never jump from the cab to the ground and use three points of contact
  30. Be careful when handling cargo by ensuring the load is stable, don't handle cargo in poor visibility, use lifting equipment properly, etc.

Save More on Truck Insurance Today!

One of the easiest ways to save on truck insurance is to work with an independent insurance agent who specializes in truck insurance and understands your unique needs, like the agents at American Insuring Group. As independent agents, we compare the cost of your coverage among many insurance companies to ensure you pay the lowest premiums for quality insurance protection.

Call us at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or connect with us online!

 

Tags: Commercial Vehicle Insurance, truck insurance, Trucking Insurance, Safe Driving Tips, Safety Programs

5 Common Causes of Truck Accidents

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Jun 04, 2022

Save on PA Truck Insurance by Avoiding Common Causes of Truck Accidents. We provide insurance in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Erie, Allentown, Reading, Lancaster, and throughout Pennsylvania.If you want to reduce Commercial Truck Insurance costs, lower the number of accidents. It’s simple but not always easy. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), in 2019, 118,000 large trucks were involved in accidents that caused injuries. And often, due to their size and weight, accidents involving trucks are more serious. For example, in 2019, 5,005 trucks were involved in fatal accidents.

The good news is that many of these accidents are preventable. The first step to preventing accidents is identifying the most common causes of truck accidents.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, driver error is the cause of 94% of vehicle accidents. Other causes include failure or degradation of the vehicle’s components and the environment (slick roads, weather, etc.).

5 Common Causes of Accidents

Distracted Driver

The CDC reports, “Nine people in the United States are killed every day in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver.” A distraction takes attention away from driving and takes your eyes off the road, takes your hand off the wheel, or takes your mind off driving. Unfortunately, drivers can be distracted by many things – changing the radio station, arguing with a passenger, or even reading billboards.

You can’t eliminate all distractions, but you can eliminate the most common cause of driver distraction – electronic devices, specifically cell phones. According to the CDC, “At 55 miles per hour, sending or reading a text is like driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed.”

As an owner or fleet manager, having and enforcing a distracted driving policy is crucial to minimizing the risk of distractions. If you are a driver, turn on the “Do Not Disturb” feature on and pull over to a safe place to use your cell phone.

Speeding

We get it… You have tight schedules to keep and face many things (traffic, road construction, etc.) that can mess with those schedules, but driver safety should always come before deadlines. The NSC reports, “Speeding was a factor in 29% of all traffic fatalities in 2020, killing 11,258, or an average of over 30 people per day.” With the additional weight and size of a truck, speeding becomes even more dangerous because it takes trucks longer to stop, and when they do hit something can cause more damage.

Poor Driver Training

As we mentioned earlier, driver error is the cause of 94% of vehicle accidents, but you can minimize that risk by providing ongoing safety training to your drivers. The National Safety Council (NSC) reports that implementing a driver safety program will help keep drivers safer and potentially:

  • Decrease the risk of motor vehicle collisions and traffic violations
  • Minimize exposure to liability risks and legal costs
  • Reduce insurance premiums and workers’ compensation claims
  • Lower vehicle repair bills and replacement expenses
  • Protect business operations and brand identity

Fatigue

You may be on the road for a while, not get enough sleep at night, or any number of other reasons that can cause fatigue. NHTSA estimates that in 2017, 91,000 police-reported crashes involved drowsy drivers. These crashes led to an estimated 50,000 people injured and nearly 800 deaths. Whenever possible, avoid this hazard by getting adequate sleep, checking any medication you take to see if any cause drowsiness, and avoiding driving during peak sleepiness periods (midnight to 6 am and late afternoon).

Weather

Weather is unpredictable and can change on a dime. Therefore, drivers must monitor the weather and prepare for potential hazards. If you find yourself on slick roads, slow down, keep more distance between you and the vehicle in front of you, keep your turn signals on longer, and turn on your headlights. Here are additional tips for dealing with dangerous weather.

How to Save on Commercial Truck Insurance Costs

Safer drivers mean fewer claims, which translates to lower Truck Insurance costs. Working with one of the independent agents at American Insuring Group also translates to lower Truck Insurance costs. As independent agents, we compare pricing and coverage with multiple insurance companies so you pay the lowest premiums for quality truck insurance protection.

✅  Start saving today by calling us at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or connect with us online.

Tags: Commercial Vehicle Insurance, truck insurance, Trucking Insurance, Safe Driving Tips, Physical Damage Truck Insurance

How Can DST Affect Truck Insurance?

Posted by David Ross on Thu, Mar 10, 2022

Daylight Savings and PA Truck Insurance tips for Philadelphia, Reading, Allentown and Harrisburg truckersMost people wouldn’t think that Daylight Savings would affect Truck Insurance, and yet research shows that it may. Every spring on the second Sunday in March at 2 am, most Americans “spring forward” by moving their clocks ahead one hour to Daylight Savings Time (DST), thereby losing one hour of sleep. Perhaps a nuisance for truck drivers, but no big deal, right? Hmmm… maybe… maybe not.

According to a study that analyzed data of 732,835 fatal motor vehicle accidents in the U.S. from 1996 to 2017, “Spring DST transition acutely increases fatal traffic accident risk by 6% in the U.S.” The study attributes this increase to “sleep deprivation and circadian misalignment” and “changing illumination conditions for peak traffic density.”

The study concluded that “28 fatal accidents could be prevented yearly if the DST transition was abolished.” These numbers only reflect accidents with fatalities, not accidents that result in damage to a truck or injury to a driver.

As you know, more accidents typically mean higher trucking insurance premiums; therefore, DST can affect truck insurance costs.

About Daylight Savings

DST has been the topic of many heated debates for many years. DST was first adopted in Germany on May 1, 1916, during WW I to conserve fuel. The rest of Europe soon followed, and the U.S. adopted DST on March 19, 1918. However, Americans weren’t too keen on the idea, and it ended after W.W. I. Franklin Roosevelt revived DST on February 9, 1942, during WW II. It ended on September 30, 1945.

Two decades later, the Uniform Time Act of 1966 made DST a standard in the U.S. The U.S. Department of Transportation states (DOT) oversees both time zones and the observance of DST because “time standards are important for many modes of transportation.” However, states can exempt themselves from DST, and currently, Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and most of Arizona do not observe DST.

According to the DOT, “Daylight Saving Time is observed for several reasons:”

  • It saves energy
  • It saves lives and prevents traffic injuries
  • It reduces crime

The debate on whether or not DST creates or prevents accidents and whether or not the U.S. should continue to observe it continues. One poll found that “Seven in 10 Americans prefer not to switch back and forth to mark daylight saving time.” However, wherever you stand on the debate, the fact is that most of us will be changing our clocks on Sunday, March 13, at 2 am. So how can truck drivers and fleet managers mitigate any of the possible adverse effects of DST?

4 Tips to Help Your Body Adjust to Daylight Savings Time:

The Cleveland Clinic offers four tips to help drivers adjust to DST:

  1. About a week before you spring forward, start going to bed 15 to thirty minutes earlier than you usually do
  2. Stick to your schedule
  3. Don’t take long naps
  4. Avoid coffee and alcohol

8 Driver Safety Tips:

  1. Ensure that all of your truck’s lights - headlights, taillights, signals, and auxiliary lights -are clean and in good working order.
  2. Avoid driving between 2 and 4 am and between 1 and 3 pm – peak times for fatigue-related collisions.
  3. Focus on driving and eliminate distractions (such as eating or texting).
  4. Reduce your speed when driving in the dark.
  5. Increase your following distance when driving in the dark.
  6. Always watch for pedestrians and bicyclists.
  7. Wear sunglasses with polarized lenses and U.V. protection to minimize sun glare (likely during evening rush hour) and eye fatigue.
  8. Pay attention to what your body is telling you.

How to Save More on Truck Insurance!

Fewer accidents typically mean lower insurance premiums, but don’t stop there! If you want to be certain you are paying the lowest rate for quality truck insurance, then you need to work with one of the independent agents at American Insuring Group.

We will check with multiple insurance companies to get you the best trucking insurance at the lowest rate. Call today at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or connect with us online.

Tags: Workers Compensation Insurance, Commercial Vehicle Insurance, truck insurance, Trucking Insurance, Safe Driving Tips

Keep Truck Insurance Costs Down With Risk Management Strategies

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Feb 12, 2022

Get the best price on truck insurance in Philadelphia, Allentown, Reading, Lancaster, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Erie, PA and in the surrounding states. Contact us today.To keep Truck Insurance costs down, trucking companies and fleet managers need to understand how to manage risk. Unfortunately, the trucking industry is filled with risks – driver shortages, vehicle breakdowns, bad weather, deteriorating infrastructure, greater regulatory oversight, injuries, and more. One major collision, lost load, or driver injury can cost your company thousands or even millions of dollars. 

Understanding how to minimize those risks helps keep your drivers, trucks, and cargo safe. In addition, it allows your operation to run more efficiently and helps protect your company from financial losses (such as higher insurance premiums). 

3 Risk Management Strategies

  1. Hire the Most Qualified Drivers

Yes, we know there is a driver shortage, and it doesn’t look like that is going to change anytime soon. According to a 2019 American Trucking Association report, if the current trend continues, we could be looking at a shortage of 160,000 drivers in the U.S. by 2028. However, taking the time to recruit, vet, and hire the most qualified drivers will save a great deal of time, money, and headaches down the road. 

Here is a step-by-step guide to hiring top-quality CDL drivers. It offers tips such as…

  • Create an appealing CDL driver job post that shows what sets your company apart from others and clearly states their responsibilities, requirements, and qualifications.
  • Advertise for the position by posting on general sites and boards dedicated to CDL drivers, along with social media. Make sure your job is picked up by Google, ask your employees for referrals, and start a blog or vlog about trucking.
  • Thoroughly vet your candidates by Interviewing potential candidates and asking in-depth questions to help you determine how trustworthy they are, how they work under pressure, etc. Have them take a drug test and a road test. Get a Motor Vehicle Records (MVR) report and do a DOT background check.  
  1. Provide Safety Training

When drivers are involved in motor vehicle accidents, it exposes your company to liability risks, legal expenses, lost time, decreased productivity, and higher insurance costs. Therefore, it is essential to teach your drivers how to deal with the challenges they will face on the road with safety-oriented driver training for new hires and ongoing training. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), implementing a driver safety program will help keep drivers safer and potentially:

  • Decrease risk of motor vehicle collisions and traffic violations
  • Minimize exposure to liability risks and legal costs
  • Reduce insurance premiums and workers’ compensation claims
  • Lower vehicle repair bills and replacement expenses
  • Protect business operations and brand identity

 3. Develop a Positive Culture of Safety

A company with a positive safety culture will often experience increased productivity and engagement and lower employee turnover and injuries. Briotix Health states that a culture of safety “looks beyond specific safety policies and programs [and] captures the mindsets and behaviors towards safety of all company stakeholders–employees, managers, and owners.” Your company needs to make safety a top priority and get buy-in from all levels of the organization. 

To determine if your company has a positive culture of safety, ask yourself these questions:

  • Does management genuinely value employee safety?
  • Do employees feel empowered and take ownership over their own (and co-workers’) safety?
  • Is your business investing in safety programs and equipment?

 Keep Truckin, Inc offers six tips for managers to create a culture of safety for their drivers:

  1. Set the right example
  2. Communicate clearly and often
  3. Prioritize training and coaching
  4. Follow up and follow-through
  5. Recognize safe drivers
  6. Implement a fatigue management policy

Lower Your Truck Insurance Costs Today!

Another way to lower your truck insurance costs is to work with the experienced independent agents at American Insuring Group. They will shop and compare truck insurance coverage among lots of competing carriers to make sure you receive the right coverage at the lowest cost.

→ Give us a call today at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or connect with us online.

Tags: truck insurance, Trucking Insurance, Safe Driving Tips, Safety Programs

3 Tips to Minimize the Risk of a Big Trucking Insurance Claim

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Oct 02, 2021

3 Tips to Minimize the Risk of a Big Trucking Insurance ClaimAsk any good insurance agent how to lower Truck Insurance costs, and they’ll tell you to reduce the number and size of your insurance claims. But that isn’t always easy.

According to the National Safety Council (NSC), in 2019, 118,000 large trucks were involved in accidents that caused injuries. And often, due to their size and weight, accidents involving trucks tend to be more serious. For example, in 2019, 5,005 trucks were involved in fatal accidents.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, “A total of 4,119 people died in large truck crashes in 2019. The number of people who died in large truck crashes was 31 percent higher in 2019 than in 2009, when it was the lowest it has been since the collection of fatal crash data began in 1975. The number of truck occupants who died was 51 percent higher than in 2009.”

Accidents cost your company more than higher insurance rates: lost sales, lost clients, higher administrative costs, time spent managing the aftermath of a truck accident, higher employee turnover, loss of reputation, and the list goes on.

Here are three tips to minimize the risk of a big trucking insurance claim.

Hire Wisely

Spend some time upfront to save yourself time and money down the road, but also be sure you understand the legal requirements for interviewing, pre-employment testing, etc.

    1. Review an applicant’s motor vehicle record
    2. Conduct a thorough interview
    3. Include a practical skills interview
    4. Run the Compliance, Safety, and Accountability profile
    5. Conduct pre-employment drug testing
    6. Establish hiring guidelines:
            • Ensure that applicants have a valid driver’s license for the vehicle type and load they will be driving
            • Set a time limit on the last chargeable accident, DUI or DWI convictions, serious moving violations, etc.
            • Set minimum years of driving experience

Develop a Driver Safety Program

All new employees should receive safety training, and ongoing safety training should be required for all drivers. NETTTS offers these tips to create a company driver safety program:

    1.  Review Your Company Fleet
            • How many drivers do you have?
            • Where do they travel?
            • What types of vehicles do they drive?
        2. Training

You should include different kinds of learning, such as printed materials, meetings, presentations, and online training that focuses on the following:

            • Safety policies
            • Driving policies
            • Hours of service
            • Vehicle inspections
            • Accident procedures
            • Security procedures
            • Personal safety policies
            • Driver responsibilities
            • Performance evaluations

3. Documentation

Everything related to safety should be well documented, from company safety programs to new hire safety training and ongoing safety training of every employee. In addition, employees should be required to sign paperwork stating they understand your company’s safety processes and what will happen if they fail to follow those processes.

Review Your Insurance Loss Run Report

Your current insurance provider can issue a loss run report, which shows the claims you’ve filed under your business insurance policies – your insurance claims history. You can request this type of report for most types of business insurance.

These reports list the date of each loss and claim, a brief description of each claim, the amount paid to the insured, and whether or not the claim is closed. You can think of it as a credit report or report card for insurance companies. They use the information in the report to determine how risky your business is to insure, which can affect the premium you pay for insurance or even if an insurance company will issue a policy or renew a policy for your business.

You can look at common injuries and claimants and use the information to improve safety. You can also look at other things – such as lost time, open claims, litigation, etc. – to improve other areas of your business and to save on insurance and additional operating costs.

How to Save on Insurance Premiums

An insurance agent specializing in trucking insurance can help ensure you purchase the right coverage. In addition, an independent agent will compare the cost of that coverage with several companies to ensure you pay the lowest amount for that coverage. The independent agents at American Insuring Group have years of experience in Trucking Insurance, so give us a call today at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or connect with us online.

Tags: truck insurance, Trucking Insurance, Safe Driving Tips, Safety Programs

5 Top Tips to Save on Truck Insurance

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Sep 18, 2021

5 Top Tips to Save on Truck InsuranceAs an independent truck owner/operator or small fleet owner, Truck Insurance can be a significant part of your operating budget. While the right insurance is crucial to the well-being of you, your employees, and your business, there are steps you can take to lower those costs without compromising coverage. 

Hire Wisely

Better drivers typically mean fewer accidents, and of course, fewer accidents mean lower insurance costs. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), “In 2018, at least one driver-related factor was recorded for 32 percent of the large truck drivers in fatal crashes.” 

Yes, we understand that good drivers can be hard to come by, but taking the time upfront to find suitable drivers and then taking steps to keep them will deliver significant savings down the road. 

Doing a thorough background check and verifying employment history and references of all potential hires is the first step. Look for drivers with clean driving records. It’s one of the things insurance companies are looking for to lower your insurance premiums. A general rule of thumb is to only hire drivers with no more than two minor violations in the past three years. 

Generally, the more experience a driver has, the better they can handle bad weather, road rage, and other hazards truck drivers face every day. Therefore, it’s no surprise that experience is one of the factors insurance companies consider when determining your insurance premiums. To take advantage of this, only hire drivers with a minimum of two years of CDL experience. 

Statistically, there are more accidents involving both very young and very old drivers. The FMCSA reports, “Of the 4,786 drivers of large trucks involved in fatal crashes in 2018, 328 (7 percent) were 25 years of age or younger, and 294 (6 percent) were 66 years of age or older.” Therefore, you may want to consider hiring drivers between the ages of 26 and 62. 

3 Additional Tips:

  1. Consider using FMCSA’s Pre-Employment Screening Program (PSP) to screen new hires.
  2. Consider instituting an employee retention program
  3. Improve drivers’ comfort 

Always ensure that you follow all state and federal hiring laws.

Consider Your Routes

Routes you regularly drive can affect the probability of an accident and increase your insurance costs. For example, driving in high-traffic areas or areas with a higher frequency of bad weather can result in more accidents. Therefore, if you can avoid those areas, you may be able to lower your insurance rates. 

Consider Your Trucks

Purchase the right vehicle for the right job; don’t buy a larger or more expensive truck than what you need because it could increase your insurance costs. Also, keep up with truck maintenance and install safety features in your trucks.

Consider Policy Structure

Often, combining multiple insurance policies with one company can lower your overall costs. Choosing a higher deductible will also reduce your annual premiums, but remember… you need to have the deductible amount readily available when you make a claim. 

Make Safety a Priority

Two key factors in determining your insurance rates are your DOT Safety record and your insurance claims history – how many claims you’ve filed, the size of the claims, etc. The better your record and the fewer your claims, the lower your rates. 

While you may not be able to do anything about your current claims history, you can take steps to lower the number of claims in the future, which will result in significant savings down the road. Develop a culture of safety with safety programs and ongoing safety training for your drivers. 

The Simplest Tip to Lower Your Truck Insurance Rates

Work with one of the agents at American Insuring Group, who specialize in truck insurance. They understand your challenges and needs and can help ensure you get the right coverage. Also, as independent agents, they will compare the cost of that coverage with multiple insurance companies to ensure you get the lowest rate.

Give us a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or connect with us online to start saving on your Truck Insurance costs.

Tags: truck insurance, workers comp insurance, Trucking Insurance, Safe Driving Tips

Truck Insurance Safety Tips for Drivers on Unfamiliar Roads

Posted by David Ross on Sun, Feb 03, 2019

Follow these truck insurance safety tips when driving your commercial vehicle on unfamiliar roads!As a commercial vehicle driver, you probably travel on unfamiliar roads quite often, and when you’re unfamiliar with the roads, you’re more likely to get lost – an unclear turn, an unexpected accident, bad visibility.

When you get lost, it’s easy to get frustrated and impatient and make bad choices that can lead to accidents – especially when you’re on a tight schedule.

When you’re traveling on a familiar road, you know where that sharp turn is, where traffic tends to back up, and where that unexpected stop sign is located. When you’re on unfamiliar roads, you don’t have those advantages, which makes safe driving practices even more vital 

In fact, the Large Truck Crash Causation Study found that nearly one-quarter of large-truck crashes occurred when CMV drivers were unfamiliar with the roadway.

More accidents mean more injuries, which translates to higher truck insurance costs

Here are 3 tips to help you navigate unfamiliar roads more safely:

1 - Plan Your Route Ahead of Time

Before you get behind the wheel, take a look at a map or your GPS and have your route planned. If you’re driving along and realize you got off track, pull off somewhere safe where you can refer to your map or guidance system to regain your bearings.

It may be tempting to adjust electronic devices while you’re driving. Don’t do it! Taking your eyes off the road for even a few seconds can result in an accident, and when you’re driving a 50,000-pound truck, the chances of that accident being severe enough to cause an injury are high.

If you’re transporting hazardous materials, you should also be aware of any route restrictions or designated routes required by state and local townships.

2 - Don’t Make Knee-Jerk Decisions

You’re in the passing lane of the interstate when you notice that you’re about to pass the exit you’re supposed to take. When you realize your mistake, you may be tempted to try to turn onto that exit quickly. Don’t do it! It isn’t worth the chance of causing injury to yourself or another driver. 

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration NAFTA Safety Stats, almost 50,000 moving violations from 2004 to 2007 were classified as improper turns or improper lane changes.

If you miss a turn, get off at the next exit or go around the block instead of making a knee-jerk decision.  

3 - Communicate With Other Drivers

Let other drivers know in advance what you intend to do – even if that’s just changing lanes – by using your turn signal. A recent study reported that there are approximately 630,000 lane-change crashes annually (involving both large trucks and passenger vehicles).

Here are other ways you can try to communicate with drivers around you:

  • Use your 4-way flashers if you have to pull off to the side of the road or when traffic is unexpectedly stopped in front of you.

  • Toot your horn to sound an alarm and warn another driver of your presence. Please, note that we say “tooting” and not “laying on” your horn. The misuse of a horn has been known to cause road rage, but it is one of the few ways that a driver can get the attention of another driver to prevent an accident.

  • Turn on your headlights. It can make your vehicle more visible especially at night or in bad weather. In fact, some trucks are programmed to have the low beam headlights on whenever the engine is running, and some states require the use of headlights when the windshield wipers are on. So make sure your headlights, turn signals, and brake lights are clean and use your headlights when appropriate.

When you’re driving on unfamiliar roads, it’s even more crucial that you exercise safe driving habits to keep yourself and those around you safe. Lower trucking insurance premiums that go with fewer accidents and claims is just icing on the cake.

Want to Save on Truck Insurance?

Affordable PA truck insurance for truckers in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Erie, Lancaster, Allentown, Harrisburg and Reading, PA.American Insuring Group can help you save even more on your trucking insurance. As independent agents, we’re free to shop the market for you among competing insurance carriers. So give us a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or connect with us online to start saving!

Tags: Commercial Vehicle Insurance, truck insurance, Commercial Insurance, Trucking Insurance, Safe Driving Tips

Safe Winter Driving Tips to Avoid a Car Insurance Claim

Posted by David Ross on Mon, Mar 13, 2017

Following safe winter driving tips can avoid accidents and reduce your auto insurance rates. Contact us to save in car insurance in Reading, Allentown, Philadelphia, Lancaster, Harrisburg, Lebanon, Pittsburgh, PA and beyond.Higher accident rates go hand-in-hand with higher car insurance premiums. It goes without saying that winter driving conditions are the most challenging for drivers. Statistics show that nearly twenty-five percent of all weather-related crashes involve icy roads, snow, or slush. That’s because drivers can’t see as well, and slowing down and stopping on time can be compromised by road conditions.

Ideally, everyone would stay off the roads during these dangerous conditions, but that isn’t always possible. So, if you must travel during winter weather, follow these winter driving safety tips. Preparing your vehicle—and yourself—before and during the trip will remove some of the stress of driving under adverse conditions. It will also put the odds of returning safely in your favor!

Before you go

Before you venture on to those snow-covered roads, put together a vehicle survival kit, which includes an ice scraper, a snow shovel, and some salt. You will then be prepared for the storm that blows in when you’re away from home. Also, check your tires. Properly inflated tires with good tread are a must on slick roads. If you usually use snow tires, have them on your vehicle before the first snow arrives.

Fill up your gas tank at the start of your trip, and don’t let it fall below half. If you are stuck or stranded, you’ll want to have plenty of gas to run your engine and keep warm. Also, check your wiper blades and replace them if they’re streaking your windshield. It’s hard driving in slippery conditions; it’s even harder if you don’t have a clear look at the road. And don’t forget to fill your windshield fluid reservoir—it will help you clear snow and ice from your windshield.

Charge your phone before you leave. It’s a good idea to sign up for weather alerts texted to your phone, but it’s not a good idea to check them while you’re driving.

Driving tips while on the road

If your vehicle has been setting outside, clean it off before you leave. And that means clean everything: windows, mirrors, all lights, roof, hood, and trunk. Always drive with your headlights on and keep them clean to improve visibility. Be extra careful in areas where snow banks limit your view of oncoming traffic.

When you’re on the road, keep in mind that speed limits don’t apply to roads that are covered with snow and ice. Slow down and increase your following distance. Maintain as much control of your car as possible by avoiding cruise control in slippery conditions. Bridges and overpasses are the first surfaces to become icy, so use caution when you’re crossing them. Accelerate gently and brake with extra caution. Don’t pass snow plows and salt trucks. The road is much safer behind them than in front of them. Remember, safer driving means less chance of incurring an auto insurance claim, injury or worse.

If you get stuck

If you get stuck, stay with your car. You could get lost in a heavy snow if you set out on foot. Bundle up and sit tight. You can run the car heater for 10 minutes every hour. Just make sure your exhaust pipe is clear of snow. You don’t want deadly carbon monoxide seeping into your vehicle because snow has blocked the pipe. Be extra safe by cracking your window to prevent any buildup.

Winter driving is always challenging. If you must be on the road, remember these tips

  • Drive slowly
  • Give yourself more time to stop
  • Pay attention to the road
  • Always wear your seat belt

If it’s possible, err on the side of caution. If you aren’t sure it’s safe to drive, wait until you are sure.

The Right Car Insurance Can Pay Off - Contact Us!

Follow these safe winter driving tips to avoid an accident. Contact us for help in selecting the best car insurance.Sadly, sometimes accidents are unavoidable. They just happen. If you are involved in an accident this winter, you’ll be glad you had the right insurance.

If you'd like an insurance review for your car, truck, RV, motorcycle or boat, contact American Insuring Group online, or give us a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 to learn more about how we can reduce your auto insurance rates.

As independent insurance agents, we're free to shop the market to find you the right protection at the best price. Contact us today.

Tags: Car Insurance Harrisburg PA, Car Insurance, Car Insurance Reading PA, Car Insurance Allentown PA, Car Insurance Philadelphia PA, Safe Driving Tips