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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