Insurance Carriers, Experts Ask Public to Stay Safe on July 4

Independence Day is known for hot dogs, BBQs and fireworks, but another unfortunate association with July 4 is the deadliness of traffic on the road.

Insurers and legislators are trumpeting messages of safety as the holiday nears, telling drivers that they should recognize the roadway dangers and be extra cautious while behind the wheel.

“Staying focused on the road, wearing seat belts and following the speed limit and other road rules are simple steps we can all take this July 4 to make sure we return home safely,” Victoria Dinges, an Allstate vice president, said in a statement.

Allstate’s statement also contained analysis of new data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) indicating that July 4 is the single deadliest day for teenage motorists.

Between 2006 and 2010, there were more than 800 fatalities on July 4, according to the statement, with teenagers accounting for 10 percent of those crash-related deaths.
IIHS data show that, in 2010, July and August had the two highest numbers of crash-related deaths for teenagers with 307 and 321, respectively.

On the first official day of summer, California insurance commissioner Dave Jones joined parents, teens and experts at a San Diego event to promote awareness about the “100 Deadly Days of Summer,” named for the higher number of roadway fatalities between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

“Most teens are on break from school, and this time also represents one of the deadliest time periods for teen drivers, who have the highest percentage of auto crashes of any drivers,” Jones said on June 20.
At the event, experts also presented statistics showing a statewide monthly average of 400 crash-related deaths for teenagers during May through August, about 50 more fatalities compared with other months of the year.

“Four of the most dangerous days on the road for teens are coming up, including July 4, so it is important for parents and teen drivers to be aware of bigger risks, including driving with teen passengers in the car,” Alice Bisno, Auto Club senior vice president of public affairs, said in a statement.

Summer Driving Shapes Seasonal Insurance Decisions

Crashes can often lead to higher coverage costs, but parents wondering how much is insurance for a 16 year old who crashes their car is in for an unpleasant realization: younger drivers are usually charged higher insurance premiums.

Research links teenagers to dangerous driving habits, especially distractions behind the wheel, and insurers have responded by charging the age group higher prices to cover their risk in the case of an accident.
But there are still several ways to reduce costs for teenagers, including discounts for well-performing students that several insurers offer. At Progressive, the insurer offers discounts to full-time students who meet certain GPA and age requirements.

Summer also marks a time of higher vehicle theft rates, as July and August are the top two months in which cars are stolen, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
The NHTSA offers motorists a short set of common-sense actions they can take to protect their car:

Take your key; don’t leave it in your ignition or vehicle
Close and lock all windows and doors when you park
Park in well-lit areas, or in a garage, if possible
Never leave valuables in your vehicle, and especially in sight

About Matthew Morisset
Matthew Morisset is a proud alumnus of the University of Redlands, where he obtained a degree in English Literature. Utilizing his passion for analysis and writing, Matthew looks for important trends in the auto insurance industry and their implications for consumers and the market as a whole.

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