Why Are Your Car Insurance Costs So High?

As all American as pizza, the number of Driving under the Influence (DUI) and Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) arrests may soon surpass the quantity of pizzas consumed daily in this country. It is prudent for every driver to make it a point to order driving records at least yearly to review their records for accuracy.

Drunk driving, commonly known as DUI or DWI, led to an alcohol-impaired fatality every 51 minutes in 2012. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 10,322 people died in alcohol-impaired crashes in 2012.” – Insurance Information Institute (February 2014 www.iii.org)

When it comes to buying car insurance, the cost to provide coverage rises astronomically for a person convicted of a DUI or DWI offense. When someone applies for insurance, the company automatically checks their driving history and classifies anyone with a DWI/DUI conviction as a high-risk driver, increasing the cost of the insurance coverage significantly, if the company is willing to insure them at all.

DMV Motor Vehicle Record Read the rest of this entry »

What is Covered In A Defensive Driving Course?

A defensive driving course, or referred to in some areas as traffic school, is a refresher for experienced or new drivers to remind them of all the current safety regulations and basic driving skills. Some people are required to take a defensive driving course to remove points from their driving records received from traffic citations. Other people take defensive driving classes to qualify for a discount on their automobile insurance cost. In that instance, these four- to six-hour courses must be taken every three years to keep the discount in force. These inexpensive courses have proven to reduce the number of fatalities and injuries occurring due to collisions and poor driving habits. The nice thing is that defensive driving courses are now available online as well as in formal in-person classroom sessions, to accommodate the most people and make it easier for everyone to take the class.

In addition to sharpening a person’s driving skills, there are numerous other benefits to attending a defensive driving course. From lowering of insurance premiums to removing traffic tickets and driving violation points from a person’s official DMV motor vehicle record, these are the prime reasons to consider taking a defensive driving course to repair or maintain a good personal driving record. Some employers require all employees driving company vehicles to take a defensive driving course to encourage safer driving on and off the job.

DrivingSo, what does the course cover?

  • 1. Collision Prevention: The course emphasizes the appropriate distance you should maintain between vehicles while driving, driving defensively and common courtesy with drivers of other vehicles, understanding and following proper passing procedures, adjusting your vehicle’s speed according to different weather conditions, knowing your vehicle’s braking distance, how to handle instances of road rage and more.
  • 2. Driving Situation Analysis: Shows drivers common driving situations and helps them become more aware of the hazards they will experience and how to avoid accidents before they occur. Read the rest of this entry »


Has it been a while since you last checked your traffic violations? Maybe you have forgotten the details of an offence.  Are you wondering how many points have accumulated on your driving record. Would you like to make sure the ticket from a few years back does not pose a problem for you in future?

Whatever be the case, your state DMV offers you an easy way to check your personal driving records. You can request to see your driving history in two ways:

How to Teach Your Teen the Art of Safe Driving

When it comes to teaching your teen the art of safe driving, you might ascribe to the school of thought where you should simply close your eyes, grit your teeth, and hope that your teen doesn’t smash into the nearest inanimate object.  While teaching your teen how to drive safely is undoubtedly a stressful event in the life of any parent, it’s important to approach it in a hopeful and (somewhat) patient manner.

While all teens are required to go through driver’s education before getting their licenses, you are the best example of safe driving for your teen.  From your own habits behind the wheel to what you teach them while you’re in the passenger seat, here’s how to teach your teen the art of safe driving:

1.    Make the right plan.  Before you can even think about teaching your teen how to drive, it’s important to scout out an ideal location for where you and your teen can practice behind the wheel.  Don’t immediately start out on a side street, because if your teen encounters traffic, he or she might panic.  Instead, look for empty parking lots where he or she can get the feel for driving a car.  Only when your teen feels confident should you move on to side streets where you might encounter other vehicles.

 2.    Don’t talk so much.  Nothing can be more stressful for a teen learning how to drive than a parent who talks non-stop about the rules of the road.  Recognize that this is the first time your child will be encountering a car; therefore, he or she is going to need extra attention.  Keep talking to a minimum, and keep praising your teen for doing something right.  You’ll boost up his or her confidence in no time.

 3.    Always discuss mistakes.  If your teen ends up making a mistake while practicing, have the teen pull over so you can discuss what happened.  Remember that making mistakes is part of the learning process, so don’t be too hard on your teen.

If you want your teen to absorb the lessons of safe driving, it’s important to stay patient and calm at all times.  If you feel yourself getting stressed out, take a moment and inhale a deep breath.  This will quickly pass – and pretty soon, you’ll miss these days.

Learn more safe driving tips and techniques at www.4safedrivers.com.

Safe Driving: What You Should Do With an Aggressive Driver

You’re behind the wheel of your car, minding your own business, when all of a sudden, you notice something out of the corner of your eye.  Another vehicle is shifting rapidly between lanes, ducking in and out of traffic in a manner so dangerous you’ve only seen it done in video games.  It doesn’t take long for the car to pull up almost to your back bumper.   After the car proceeds to honk and flash its lights at you, you realize that you’re dealing with an aggressive driver.

Aggressing driving can range from innocuous (driving too fast, accidentally cutting you off) to the downright dangerous (tailgating you on purpose, cutting you off and braking in front of you in anger, etc.).  Aggressive driving is a symptom of road rage, in which another driver is so irate at a perceived or real slight that he or she is willing to put lives at risk just to demonstrate his or her anger.

If you find that you’re dealing with an aggressive driver, consider using the following safe driving techniques:

  1. If possible, get out of the driver’s way as safely and as quickly as you can.  If a driver is tailgating you in the fast lane on a highway, pull over when you can and let the car pass.  Don’t try to teach an aggressive driver a lesson by slowing down, as this will only further enrage the driver.
  2. Don’t respond to the other driver.  If he or she pulls up alongside you and begins yelling or giving you the finger, don’t respond with your own anger or outrage.  Instead, keep your hands on the wheel, stare straight ahead, and resist escalating the conflict, no matter how in the right you might be.
  3. Whatever you do, never get out of your vehicle.  This is an escalation of conflict, even if you’re attempting to explain your side to an enraged driver.  If the other driver is approaching your car, stay inside and call the police.
  4. If a driver won’t leave you alone on the road, drive to a hospital or police station where you can get someone’s attention.  Stay in your car and honk your horn until someone comes to your assistance.  Again, call 911 if you’re in fear for your life.

For more safe driving tips and techniques, visit www.4safedrivers.com.

Safe Drivers: Defensive Driving in Winter and Cold Weather

When it comes to safe driving, it’s important to remember that defensive driving plays a key element in your safety on the road.  After all, you could be the best driver in the world – but if someone else decides to drift in your lane or cut you off, it could all come to naught.  Add ice and snowy weather to that mix, and it becomes apparent that defensive driving in the winter could make all the difference to being a safe driver.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at defensive driving techniques you should use when you encounter wintery weather:

Stay Alert.  Whether you’re driving in snow or on ice, defensive driving depends on your ability to stay alert and aware of others.  If you’re feeling tired or fatigued, don’t go out and drive, as this greatly reduces your defensive driving techniques.  If possible, wait out the storm at work, or consider staying at a nearby hotel if your evening commute will be too snowy or icy.  It’s better to deal with a hotel bill than a wrecked car.

Leave Plenty of Room.  Never tailgate in wintery weather.  Give adequate space between you and the car in front of you.  Icy roads make it more difficult to stop, which means it will take you longer to brake.  If you’re right behind someone who has to come to a sudden stop, you might not have time or the space to come to a complete stop.

Don’t Speed.  Notice those speed limits on the side of the road?  Disregard them – when you’re driving in snow or on ice, you’ll want to drive as slow as possible.  Don’t pay attention to any cars passing you; you should be driving at a speed that makes you feel comfortable.  If you’re on the highway, get in the slow lane so other cars can pass you by.

Stay Home.  If you don’t need to drive out in the snow, don’t.  Icy and snowy conditions are highly dangerous, which means you should avoid being out on the road if you can.

Defensive driving in the snow and ice requires a great deal of patience and common sense.  To learn more about defensive driving during all seasons, visit www.4safedrivers.com.

Why You Should Check an Employee’s Driving Record Before You Hire

Whether you’re a small business owner or the CEO of a large corporation, you know that hiring the best candidate for a job opening plays a pivotal part in the success of your company.  After all, your employees are representative of you, which is why you only want to hire the best of the best.

However, if you’re not examining a candidate’s driving records for evidence of safe driving, you may be missing out on key evidence of whether a person is a great fit for your business – or if he or she needs to keep looking.

When it comes to background searches, many professionals think that it’s enough to conduct criminal and credit checks.  This ensures that they’re vetting out any criminals or candidates who may be irresponsible with money.  However, a safe driving record should play a pivotal part in this search, as it can help you make the following determinations:


  • Driving records can give you better insight into how the person handles themselves once they’re away from work.  Remember, your employees are representative of your company, whether they’re in the office or out on the town.  If your employee racks up speeding tickets or keeps getting DUIs, this is going to reflect poorly on your company’s reputation.


  • Your employees play a valuable role within your industry – and if one of your employees is constantly missing work to figure out traffic tickets or attend court for DUIs, it’s going to impact your ability to conduct business.  You want an employee who you can trust and rely on – and that simply won’t be the case if you’re working with someone who is in and out of court.


  • If you’re hiring someone who is going to be driving for your company – or just has your company’s advertisement on his or her car – you want to find someone who is going to obey the rules of the road at all times.  If a car with your name on it keeps getting pulled over by the police, you can bet that potential customers will sit up and take notice.  This may even lead them to choose to take their purchases straight to your competitors.

Don’t underestimate how much information you can glean from safe driving records.  To learn more about driving records – and to order driver’s records for potential employees – visit www.4safedrivers.com.

Things You Should Know Before Giving Your Keys to Your New Teen Driver

Think back to the time when you first were handed the keys to your first car as a teen.  Did you feel powerful?  Invincible?  Like the entire world was laid out at your feet?  That’s exactly what your teen is feeling as soon as you hand over those coveted car keys.  Your teen is excited to finally stretch his or her wings and enjoy that little taste of independence.

While this is certainly a proud – and more than terrifying – moment for you as a parent, it’s important to remember that your teen may not be taking his or her safe driving skills seriously.  As car crashes are the number #1 cause of death for teens, it’s critical for you to instill safe driving skills and habits into your teenager by using the following techniques:

  • Give your teen a driving curfew.  If you don’t want your teen to be out on the road late at nights, enforce this rule by insisting he or she has to be home at a certain time.  The first time your teen breaks this rule, take away the keys – no questions asked.


  • Share your driving experiences with your teen.  Don’t pretend that you didn’t make mistakes when you first learned how to drive; instead, share the lessons you’ve learned.  By approaching your teen from this perspective – rather than a strict lecture – you can ensure that he or she will be listening to you.


  • Make a financial arrangement with your teen driver.  He or she is likely to act more responsibly behind the wheel of a car if his or her money is going into its costs.  Have your teen pay for insurance, or just have him or her contribute a certain amount of money to you each month for driving the car.  This reduces the likelihood that he or she will take risks, as he or she will be more careful with a car that he or she “pays for.”


  • Consider setting up a safe driving contract with your teen.  If your teen ends up getting a ticket or misbehaves with the car, spell out what consequences will occur.  Be sure to stick to these consequences to help spell out the importance of safe driving.

To learn more about safe driving tips for your new teen driver, visit www.4safedrivers.com.

Encountering This Weather? Consider Staying Indoors

When it comes to keeping yourself safe and sound on the road, you know not to head out during inclement weather.  But what do you consider inclement weather to be?  Do you refuse to go out during a hurricane, but find yourself driving down the highway during a rainstorm?  Do you cuddle up inside during a snowstorm, but head out on the road as soon as the snow stops and the roads are plowed?

Safe driving involves understand the dangers of driving in even not-so-obvious inclement weather.  If it’s possible for you to stay off the road when you’re encountering the following weather, be sure to do so – your safety may depend upon it:


  • If there’s heavy rain in the forecast, consider staying indoors, even if it hasn’t started to rain yet.  Many people find themselves out on the road in the midst of a flash flood, which can be extremely detrimental to your safety.  If you do find yourself in the middle of a heavy downpour, slow down, put on your emergency lights, and pull over to the side of the road.  If possible, seek shelter under a bridge with an emergency lane, as this can ensure that other drivers will see you.


  • If the weather is too cold – and there has been rain or snow in the recent past – consider staying indoors.  Even if it isn’t snowing out, black ice can pose a significant risk, as you may end up skidding over a patch of ice or snow.  If you have to go out on the road, drive slowly, and avoid coming to short stops, especially over patches of ice.


  • Forecasts for high winds can be dangerous for drivers, especially those who drive large trucks or smaller cars.  Gusts of wind can cause you to shift from lane to lane, especially when they catch you by surprise.  If your car doesn’t hold up well in windy weather, consider staying off the roads if possible.


The bottom line is this: if driving in any inclement weather makes you feel uncomfortable, just don’t do it.  If possible, call your boss and let him or her know you’ll be working from home, or consider using up a personal day.  It’s better to be safe than sorry.

For more safe driving tips and techniques, visit www.4safedrivers.com.

The California Driving Laws Coming Into Effect

Safe driving involves ensuring that you’re always following the law – and in the state of California, there are plenty of new laws that are being introduced.   If you want to ensure that you’re following these laws, take a look at the biggest changes you need to be aware of:

  • There are plenty of accidents that occur between cyclists and vehicles.  That’s why the state of California is introducing a new law that impacts the mandatory passing distance you should keep between your car and a bicycle.  According to this new law, vehicles should only pass a cyclist who is traveling in the same direction when they can maintain a distance of three feet between the cyclist and the vehicle.  If you’re unable to achieve this minimum distance, the law requires you to slow down and wait until it is safe to go around the cyclist.  If you fail to follow this law, you can incur a fine, even if you don’t collide with the cyclist.  Please note that this law comes into effect September 16, 2014.


  • Another law that is coming into effect is that no vehicle’s title or registration can be transferred to a family member unless all parking fees and tolls have been paid first.  This also includes transference to a revocable living trust.  Violation fines and penalties must be paid by the person transferring the vehicle in order for the title and registration to be changed to another family member’s name.


  • In order to encourage safe driving with teens, the state of California will prohibit a person under the age of 18 from using an electronic wireless communications device to send, read or write a text.  This law is still valid even if the teen is using a hands-free device.  Failing to comply with this law can invoke heavy penalties and fines.


  • California is now extending the amount of time in which low-emission and zero-emission vehicles can use the HOV lane.  This law was enacted in order to help alleviate much of the traffic problems in metropolitan areas.


Please note that all of these laws for 2014 are currently in effect, unless otherwise noted.

For more information about safe driving and following the law, visit www.4safedrivers.com.

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