What to do if your Car or Truck is Involved in a Hit and Run!

Have you ever been involved in a hit and run? While you were parked and not even in the car? What about while you were driving? I was once at the mall with some friends and as we were leaving we saw a girl in a big old Dodge pickup backing out of her parking spot and right into a Honda Accord. She knew she hit it and she just drove off. I got her license plate number and gave it to the security guard. I felt for that Honda Accord owner cause her bumper was hanging off.

Well it’s important to know what to do if this happens to you. Allstate has put together this little list of things to do so you won’t be caught off guard and you won’t forget anything.

Survey your immediate surroundings – If the other vehicle’s driver isn’t easily spotted in your immediate surroundings, do not try and go after the driver yourself. Check your windshield to see if they may have left a note with their contact information.
Call the police – Call the police immediately to file an accident report.
Get the facts at the scene Ask people nearby the scene if they witnessed the accident. Take down their reports and contact information.
Check for surveillance cameras – If the accident occurred in a parking lot, check to see if a surveillance camera caught the incident on tape.
Take pictures – If you don’t have a camera in your phone, Allstate recommends that drivers keep a disposable camera in the glove box. Snap shots of the damage to your vehicle and of your surroundings.
Contact your insurance company – Report even a minor accident to your insurance company immediately. – See Allstate for more information

Hopefully your insurance covers uninsured motorists but if not I’m sure everything will be ok. Good luck out there and safe driving!

Thanks to Brandi Hodge for contributing.

GAP Insurance Is Vital When Buying A New Car Or Truck

Yep I believe it’s that exciting…. You know that feeling you get when you buy a brand new car? You know the feeling of wrecking a car? Think about how horrible it would be to get a brand new car or truck and in just a few days you wreck it! This happens a lot.

It might also surprise you that even though you just paid $20,000 for your brand new car it’s only worth $14,000 in the eyes of the insurance company. Believe it or not the minute you drive your brand new car off the lot it depreciates. So the insurance company gives you the $14,000 for your car, and you now owe a remaining $6,000 on a car that you aren’t driving because it’s been totaled. Well this unfortunate coincidence happens more than you think and that wouldn’t happen if you had GAP insurance. You see GAP insurance will insure you for the difference between what you would owe on a vehicle and what an insurance company says it’s worth. Like I said your car will depreciate the minute it’s driven off the lot so it’s imperative you get GAP insurance. The one and only reason you might not want GAP insurance on your brand new car or truck is if you paid for it with cash and don’t owe the bank anything.

You do have a few options when searching for GAP insurance. You can get it through the dealership, your insurance company or in some cases the bank will roll it into your loan. Just make sure that you do your research so you can get the best deal possible.

Thanks to Brandi Hodge for contributing.

Tailgating The WRONG Way In Your Car Or Truck!

Tailgating the wrong way is when a driver follows the vehicle in front too closely for safety.  The closer you follow the vehicle in front of you, the less time you have react.  Research indicates that tailgating is a contributing factor in more than one third of all car accidents.

Even if you are in a hurry, stressed out, and believe that tailgating the car in front of you will speed up your trip, don’t do it!  If the person in front of you is force to stop suddenly, you will absolutely be in the wrong when you “accidentally” hit them from behind.  In addition to causing accidents, tailgating is one of the leading causes of road rage.  Many times, when someone is being tailgated, that car driver gets angry at the person behind them and sometimes will “tap” their brakes in an attempt to get the tailgater to back off and use a safer following distance.  This is very dangerous move and may cause a needless accident regardless of the intent.

Here are some guidelines to help you maintain:

It can be difficult for drivers to determine a safe following distance between them and the car in front of them. Try these three simple rules to count out the seconds between you and the vehicle in front of you:

1. Two-Second Rule

If you are on a dry and clear road, count two seconds to safely gauge the distance between you and the car in front of you.  When the car in front of you drives past a sign or pole, you should reach the count of two before you pass the same sign or pole.

2. Four-Second Rule

This is for when the roadways are wet and rainy.  In these conditions, you should employ a four second gap between you and the car in front of you.

3. 10-Second Rule

This rule applies to icy and snowy conditions when the roadways are at their worst.  This may seem like a large distance, but every winter there are an enormous number of weather related accidents.  Better to be safe than sorry after an accident.

By keeping a safe following distance you can avoid a needless accident.  Road rage and impatient driving should never get in the way of you getting home safely to your family.

Thanks to Brandi Hodge for contributing.

What Should Be In The Glove Box Of Your Car Or Truck!

Ok so when was the last time you looked in your glove compartment box? What’s in there? Why is it that when you get pulled over or you’re looking for something you can never find it in there? It’s like the washing machine you know you put 2 pairs of socks in there so why are you missing a sock? I know every time I get a new insurance card I put it in the glove compartment box but somehow I can never find it. But I can find the ones that expired! The problem is that no one knows what’s supposed to be in there and what shouldn’t be in there. Here is a list of the most useful items to keep in your glove compartment box.

(1) Insurance – Now this one is important because they just passed a law in Texas that if you don’t have insurance or the proper documentation with you they can tow your car right then and there. I would however keep your title at home some place safe. Think about it if someone steals your car and they got the title – well they can sell your car. Just keep  your registration and your insurance in your glove compartment box.

(2) A notebook and pen – You never know when your wife will call you with a grocery list or when you might get in a little fender bender and need to write your insurance information down. This is a good thing to keep handy.

(3) Tissues etc – Well this is a given. I blow my nose, my kids noses, I pick up  there messes. Keep kleenex, wipes or something in there. Trust me you will need it.

(4) A cell phone charger – You may not be in your car that much but you never know when you may be in an emergency and your phone is dead. It’s a good idea to keep phone charger in your glove compartment box just in case.

(5) Flashlight – One time my car died and I had parked in a parking garage and it was dark. If I hadn’t had that flashlight in my glove compartment box I wouldn’t have been able to find the battery cables under my seat. Trust me you’ll find a use for that flash light.

(6) Tire Pressure Gauge – You should check your tire pressure often. Properly inflated tires gives you better fuel economy, better handling and extended tire life.

(7) Owner’s Manual – DUH! You never know when you will need this. I lost mine once and had to go get a new one. What a pain.

Let me know if you can think of anything I left out. I usually keep my receipts from car work in there too like from getting my oil changed etc. only cause I can’t always read that sticker they put in your window.

Thanks to Brandi Hodge for contributing.

Dealing With Road Rage In Your New Car Or Truck

In today’s times we probably all spend more time in our cars than we’d like to. With all the construction going on in the DFW area, the traffic congestion, and the bad drivers, it can all add up and it can get to you. Trust me I know. I’ve not only been a victim of road rage but i’ll admit i’ve been an offender of road rage a time or two.

There’s no question about it that there are a fair number of rude or bad drivers in the DFW area. I’ve grown up here, and trust me it can be bad. Aggressive driving, like speeding, tailgating, unsafe lane changes, failing to signal intent to change lanes, or others are sometimes accidental or sometimes caused by not paying attention. Some acts of road rage are 100% intentional. All too often we are on the receiving end of an angry driver’s rage…what do you do then? Fight fire with fire? Probably not the wisest idea.

In fact: “According to a recently released national survey, when a driver gets the finger, is cut off or tailgated, 50 percent of the victims respond with horn honking, yelling, cutting-off, and obscene gestures of their own. The survey, administered by Response Insurance, revealed that 34 percent of drivers say they honk their horn at the aggressor, 27 percent yell, 19 percent give the finger back, 17 percent flash their headlights, and 7 percent mimic the initial aggressive driving behavior. Two percent of drivers admit to trying to run the aggressor off the road. Road rage is a two-way street,” noted Ray Palermo, of Response Insurance. It takes two people to fight. So, if you are subjected to aggressive driving, often the best way to ensure it does not get any worse is to just ignore it.” Road and Travel

The bottom line is that we’re all guilty of having been involved in a “Road Rage” incident at some point whether we know it or not. Here are a few tips from Farmers Insurance to follow to keep from being not only a victim but also an offender of road rage.

Always use your indicators when changing lanes or merging.

Be courteous. If another driver is signaling to change into your lane ahead of you, let them.

Ignore drivers who make angry gestures at you. Separate yourself from them, if possible.

If a vehicle is tailgating you, attempt to change lanes and let it pass.

If you are being followed, drive to a nearby crowded public place and call for help or drive to a nearby police station. You can also alert police via a cell phone.

Never provoke another driver.

If you can think of any tips not mentioned feel free to let me know. There are also some good videos on youtube about how to avoid road rage if you want to check them out.

Thanks to Brandi Hodge for contributing.

Why Is Car or Truck Insurance So High For Teenagers?

Most insurance companies consider drivers under the age of 25 to be high risk. Teenagers feel a sense of freedom when getting their license. They feel invincible and often think….Oh that wouldn’t happen to me. They get behind the wheel and the tend to take risks that an experienced driver would never attempt. I know….I did those things as a teenage boy. This tends to make teenagers a major threat on the road. Statistics show that the number one killer of teenagers is car accidents.

Insuring your teenager can be stressful but there are a few things that you can do together to help lower those costs. Some things you can’t help but some things you can teach them and speak to them about. I think an open line of communication between you and your kids driving is important. They will listen to you.

  • Keep a clean driving record. Every ticket, car accident, fender bender, DWI or otherwise can hurt those costs tremendously. I had quite a few speeding tickets in my younger years and trust me I spent a lot of time in defensive driving. Ha.
  • Raise the deductible. This will help lowering the payments.
  • Get good grades. Many insurance companies offer discounts to teens that are in college and high school and can maintain and good GPA. Every insurance company is different but it’s definitely something you should check into.
  • Defensive Driving…. Even if your son or daughter has never received a traffic violation, taking defensive driving once a year is a proactive way of showing the insurance company you are concerned with safe driving. Many insurance companies will offer discounts for this.
  • Drive a car that has a high safety rating. The more airbags that are on the car the better. Sports cars, expensive cars, high-performance cars and SUVs carry higher risk and higher insurance premiums for teenagers.
  • Safety features such as anti-lock brakes, traction control, automatic seat belts and side-impact air bags can reduce teen car insurance rates considerably.
  • You should always get quotes from at least 3 or 4 different insurance companies and compare before you pick one.

Good luck! Keep me posted on any good deals you find out there.

Thanks to Brandi Hodge for contributing.

What Should You Know? New and Used Car Insurance Tips

I’ve been looking for some ideas to help you with  your insurance needs. I found this great blog on insurance terms. If you find insurance terms a little confusing you’ll get a lot out of this article.

As you search for the best price be sure you understand what you are buying and I encourage you to get quality coverage. When an accident occurs too many people are surprised not only by what their insurance covers but what it doesn’t cover at all.

Posted by admin in : Car Insurance Articles

If you’re looking for cheap full coverage auto insurance you can easily get confused by all the choices you have. And, because most people want to get quality coverage along with money savings, it can take a some quality time to consider different aspects before deciding which company best fits your needs and which policy to buy.

Understanding what the terms mean will speed up the process.

Full Coverage Insurance – Full coverage insurance is comprehensive coverage that covers you personally for every type of insurance that your insurance company offers.

Here are some examples:

 Medical Costs

Medical costs could be an option for some policies. When you have a full coverage auto insurance policy the medical costs of everybody in your car are covered if you get into an accident and sustain injuries.

Liability – Liability is also covered when you have a full coverage auto insurance policy. So if an accident is your fault, this coverage makes it possible for all the damages you’ve caused to be compensated.

Liability coverage should be part of everyone’s insurance policy because you never know who will be blamed if there’s an accident. In this case it’s far better to be safe than sorry.

The Cost of the Premium

It pays to compare premium costs with different insurance carriers if you’re looking for cheap full coverage auto insurance because the cost of identical coverage can vary by hundreds of dollars or more per year.

The premium will be based on your age, your gender, and how old your vehicle is and even possibly your past driving record.

By the way, if your car is on its last legs you may not want to invest in full coverage because the premiums will be higher. You could end up paying premiums based on the current market value of the car. It usually makes more sense to get cheap full coverage auto insurance policies for newer vehicles.

Some comprehensive insurance polices cover you in case of arson or vandalism, but they aren’t very common.

When comparing premiums you can check out companies online and get in touch with some insurance agents who can keep you abreast of information about cheap automobile insurance.

And look here to find out more about how to get cheap motor car insurance. And if you want to see more ways to find affordable car insurance take a look at http://www.CheapOnlineCarInsurance.org

Good luck. Let me know if you find some real good values out there. I am compiling a list of the best insurance deals in the Dallas Fort Worth Area to share with my readers.

Thanks to Brandi Hodge for contributing.

Making A New Car or Truck Purchase? Here’s A Checklist For You!

As you shop for a new car a checklist should be really important to you.

I know you want the best car or truck for you and your family and of course you want the best value right? Sure you can forget the checklist and go nuts and buy on an impulse from someone you don’t know. Or you could buy a new car or truck from someone you know and trust. This is possibly one of the biggest purchases you will make in your life. So….take a checklist with you and make sure that you are getting the best value in your new car or truck.

A basic checklist should include everything you need to make a good decision, and it isn’t limited to just the actual car itself.   It should be a comprehensive list of all the things, relative to the purchase, that you want and need before you to ultimately decide to buy.

Here are some very important fundamentals of your essential checklist:

Do your ResearchBefore you walk into the dealership it’s important that you go online and research the cars or trucks that you are interested in. This just so happens to be the #1 one thing on anyone’s list. 80% of people will research a car online before they ever walk onto a lot. That’s the power of the internet. The more you know about the new cars and trucks you are interested in the more of an advantage you have in getting the best value on your purchase. You should be aware of the things that are important to you on a vehicle. For instance gas mileage, fuel efficiency, safety record/air bags, sounds system, the suggested manufacturer’s retail price, special national offers on the vehicle or even specials the dealership is offering on the vehicle. 9 times out of 10 the price you see on the internet for your new car or truck is a special offer. You should know that price before you walk into the dealership cause it’s probably the lowest price the dealership is willing to sell the car for.

Wanted or Needed Equipment – Somethings are a must have and somethings are a pass. That’s your decision. However if you dont drive that much and you never leave your zipcode why bother paying the extra money on the GPS? You should make sure that you receive the features and equipment that you need and or want. Don’t get a manual transmission just because it may be a lower price if you don’t know how to drive one really well. If you can afford it you should most definitely look into power doors and locks and even a security system. Don’t go crazy on the high-tech features unless you know for a fact that you will use them. If safety is important to you and your family check the frontal crash rating and you should consider a vehicle with at least a five star rating.

The Financing –How much money do you have for a down payment? If the new car or truck has a special offer that you are interested in – is there a minimum down payment amount that must be met in order to receive the offer? How much can you afford each month? What’s the interest rate you can expect to receive. These are questions you should ask yourself before you walk into the dealership. Don’t be caught off guard. Check with your credit union or bank and see if you qualify. A lot of dealerships can and do arrange financing but just be sure to check ahead of time so you are prepared for anything.

Oh Yes The Insurance – My first car was given to me by my parents and it had been paid off for a while so I only had liability insurance which was very inexpensive for me, however upon buying a new car my premium shot up. So check with your insurance company to see how a particular model will and can affect your premium.

Car or Truck – Here we go, now we’re talking! Don’t take a car on a test drive unless you are serious about the car and obviously the car should be in perfect working condition, a flawless piece of dreaminess. Once you test drive that car or truck you know you’re gonna want it so be prepared to fall in love. By all means fall in love with the car or truck you are looking at before you make a purchase.

Deal – Make your best deal, based on your research, and be on the look-out for vague or hidden fees, as well as unnecessary options.  No matter how much you like the vehicle, be prepared to walk out of the dealership if the deal isn’t right for you.

I hope these tips will help in your first or next new car or truck purchase and by all means if you have any additional questions shoot me an email. I’d love to hear from you.

Thanks to Brandi Hodge for contributing.