Traveling This Holiday Season? 5 Tips to Avoiding Road Accidents

The holidays usually mean more shopping, cooking and traveling, which increases your risk of accidents on the road. Auto insurance from The Smith Insurance Group Inc. in Sandy, UT will protect your interests if you’re involved in an auto accident. The following safety tips can keep accidents from happening, even during the busy holiday season.

Service Your Vehicle

Don’t hit the road without servicing your vehicle to make sure it’s road-ready. Have your mechanic check fluids, belts, brakes, wipers, and tires. Change your oil and get new tires, if needed, before holiday travels.

Plan Ahead

Plan your holiday vacation in advance to avoid stress. Decide where you’re going, pick your dates, map your routes and assemble emergency supplies for your travels. Check weather conditions in advance so you know what to expect along the way.

Leave Early

Leave early enough to avoid rush hours and to give you enough time to stop and rest when you get tired. Resting often can help you stay alert. If you’re traveling with other drivers, share the load to avoid fatigue.     

Don’t Get Distracted

Keep your mind and eyes on the road – don’t get distracted. Put away your cell phone so you’re not tempted to make calls or text friends when driving. Make a playlist for your journey so you’re not fiddling with the radio trying to find tunes to your liking.

Don’t Drink and Drive

There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a few drinks during your holiday celebrations. What is wrong is drinking and driving. If you’re going to drink, call Uber or a taxi to take you home or travel with a designated driver.   

As we enter the holiday season, make sure you have the auto insurance protection you need by calling The Smith Insurance Group Inc.in Sandy, UT.

Safety Tips for Summer Road Trips

Summer is a great time for a family road trip. Whether you’re staying in Utah or traveling cross country in your vehicle, safety should be your number one priority. The following road trip safety tips from The Smith Insurance Group Inc. in Sandy, UT can help keep you safe during your summer travels.

Check Your Vehicle

Before hitting the open road, take your vehicle in for a checkup. Routine maintenance will ensure your car is ready for long distance travels. Have your mechanic check the tires, belts, battery, fluids, wipers, and AC to make sure everything’s working as it should. Vehicle maintenance can help you avoid breakdowns on the road.

Rest Up

Be sure to get plenty of rest the night before your trip so you’ll be awake and alert for driving. Driving half asleep puts you at greater risk of causing an accident. Take breaks as needed during your travels to avoid getting bored or tired. If possible, switch off on drivers every couple hours to get the rest you need.

Pack an Emergency Kit

Make sure you have an emergency kit with all the essentials needed for long distance travels. Your kit should include drinking water, flashlight, warm blankets, flares, jumper cables, cell phone with charger, first aid supplies and basic tools for minor car repairs. If your auto insurance doesn’t include roadside assistance, consider getting this coverage for summer travels.

Stay off Your Phone

Stay off your phone when driving so you can focus on the road. Texts and phone calls are major distractions that can easily lead to accidents.

Update Your Auto Insurance

Update your auto insurance to ensure you have ample protection for your travels. To learn more about road trip insurance protection options, contact The Smith Insurance Group Inc. in Sandy, UT.

What will happen if I don’t have auto insurance?

Driving a vehicle on a daily basis is a necessity for many people and is also a big responsibility. When you do drive a vehicle, you will need to make sure that you have auto insurance in place at all times. If you do not have auto insurance in place, a number of things could occur. 

Violation of the Law

If you do not carry auto insurance, you will be in violation of the law. Carrying at least a minimum level of liability auto insurance is a requirement for anyone in the Sandy UT area. If you do not carry auto insurance and are caught driving without it, you could face stiff penalties. This can include losing your right to drive a car, financial penalties, and even imprisonment if you are a repeat offender.

No Protection

The main reason why you need to have auto insurance in place is that it will provide you with financial protection for a variety of losses. If you have a full auto insurance policy that provides collision, comprehensive, and liability coverage, you will receive coverage for a wide range of losses. If you do not have auto insurance in place, you could end up facing a significant financial loss if you are involved in an accident or your vehicle is stolen or damaged. Further, you will be found personally liable for any damage that you cause in an accident. 

Since having auto insurance in place at all times is very important, people in the Sandy, UT area should contact The Smith Insurance Group, Inc. to further discuss their auto insurance needs. The professionals at The Smith Insurance Group Inc. can help you to get into an auto insurance policy that provides you with the necessary levels of protection. 

Auto Insurance Nuances Specific to Utah And The Surrounding Areas

Find Out About No-Fault Insurance

Utah is one of twelve states (and Puerto Rico) in the nation that have no-fault auto insurance laws. The other states include Kentucky, Hawaii, North Dakota, Michigan, Massachusetts, Kansas, New York, New Jersey, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Minnesota. While each individual state exercises this law differently, Utah has a statutory monetary threshold of $3000.

 No fault insurance can be a time saver. Essentially, no-fault insurance allows financial compensation to all involved drivers for the medical bills they incur as a result of an accident.

No fault insurance is a requirement of all driving residents and non-residents who have been in the state for more than 90 days. Your insurance agent can let you know what is required of you when it comes to all of your auto insurance policy mandates. Also, the agent can let you know about some discretionary insurance items that may suit your individual needs. Different driving habits require different levels of insurance protection.  

Don’t Wait Until You Need To Use Your Policy – Contact Us Today

Learning about your insurance coverage before you need to use it is a great idea. A careful review will not only put your mind at ease, but you can also learn if you have coverage that you don’t need or have a vulnerable area that requires protection. If you are located in the Sandy, UT area or surrounding states, come in to visit The Smith Insurance Group, Inc. or reach us by telephone at 801-433-0161. Our staff will be attentive to your insurance questions and deliver a review of the best options for your home, boat/watercraft, commercial, health, life, motorcycle, renters or RV, as well as your automobile insurance needs.  

How Long Do I Have To File An Insurance Claim After An Accident?

If you are involved in an auto accident in Sandy, UT, you may be curious about how long you have, after the incident, to file an insurance claim. While it is always best to contact The Smith Insurance Group, Inc. immediately after the incident, there may be reasons you decide to file an insurance claim at a later date. Here is what you need to know about the time frame you have to file an insurance claim. 

Vehicle And Personal Property Damage 

After an accident, one of the first things you should do is contact your insurance company. To file an insurance claim for any possible damages, you will have the option to either file with your own insurance company, called a “first-party” claim, or against the other driver’s insurance, called a “third-party” claim. 

According to Utah Code section 78B-2-305, if your vehicle or other Sandy, UT personal property was damaged as a result of a vehicular accident, any lawsuit regarding that claimed damage must be filed within three years of the date of the incident.  

Bodily Injury 

According to Utah State Law, any person in your vehicle who suffers a bodily injury is required to submit their claim to your insurance company. For each person incurring an injury, the first $3,000 in medical expenses will be covered by your The Smith Insurance Group, Inc. policy under Personal Injury Protection before they can file a claim with the other party’s responsible insurer. 

Is There A Time Frame For Concluding My Claim? 

If you fail to file a suit or accept a final settlement before the statute of limitations is up, you can jeopardize your right to receive any settlement. You are required to either file a lawsuit or accept a final settlement offer within the time frame required by specific statutes of limitations: 

  • For property damage claims – The time frame is three years from the date of the accident. 

  • For bodily injury claims – The time frame is four years from the date of the accident. 

Reach out to The Smith Insurance Group, Inc. for an auto insurance policy and a quote. Our agents are ready to help walk you through the insurance process.

Which autonomous driving features should you choose for your next vehicle?

The world is a few years away from the time when you will be able to hop into a self-driving car and let the computer take you where you need to go. However, a number of features exist now that will make your daily commute or road trip a little bit easier and a lot safer. But what are the best features to ask for when making your next car purchase? Consumer reports have a list of available features. Here are some that The Smith Insurance Group, Inc., serving Sandy, UT, recommends.

Autonomous Driving Features

Many accidents happen when the driver is not being as attentive at the wheel as he or she should be. This can result in the driver rear-ending the vehicle in front of them. Automatic emergency braking will apply the brakes when a collision appears to be imminent, thus preventing the accident. Another similar feature is a collision warning system that will give an audible or visual warning to alert the driver to an oncoming collision.

Shifting lanes into another vehicle is also a cause of accidents. A blind spot warning system will sound an alarm if another vehicle is in your blind spot as you begin to change lanes. A lane departure warning system will alert you if you start to depart your lane through inattention. A lane keeping assist system will keep you in your lane.

Finally, you should consider getting adaptive cruise control, using a suite of sensors to keep a set distance between your vehicle and the one ahead of you. When the traffic slows, your car will slow as well. When the traffic speeds up, so will your vehicle.  

For more questions on auto insurance and car safety, contact The Smith Insurance Group, Inc. serving Sandy, UT.