MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT DO’S AND DON’T’S

MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT DO’S AND DON’T’S

In late October 2017, the U.S. Department of Transportation released the 2016 motor vehicle crash statistics collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  The statistics are as follows:

  • Distraction-related deaths (3,450 fatalities) decreased by 2.2 percent;
  • Drowsy-driving deaths (803 fatalities) decreased by 3.5 percent;
  • Drunk-driving deaths (10,497 fatalities) increased by 1.7 per­cent;
  • Speeding-related deaths (10,111 fatalities) increased by 4.0 percent;
  • Unbelted deaths (10,428 fatalities) increased by 4.6 percent;
  • Motorcyclist deaths (5,286 fatalities – the largest number of motorcyclist fatalities since 2008) increased by 5.1 percent;
  • Pedestrian deaths (5,987 fatalities – the highest number since 1990) increased by 9.0 percent; and
  • Bicyclist deaths (840 fatalities – the highest number since 1991) increased by 1.3 percent.

A key to an individuals or a family’s financial survival after a motor vehicle accident is to first be adequately insured before the accident occurs.  The medical bills and related expenses and lost wages from missed work can take a financial and emotional toll on a family.  While auto insurers do not make it inexpensive to adequately cover an individual or family with necessary auto insurance, given the 2016 motor vehicle accident statistics – maintaining adequate motor vehicle insurance is essential and not a luxury.

 So what is adequate motor vehicle insurance?  Understandably, that answer can depend upon how much a person or family can realistically afford, but it is definitely more than simply purchasing motor vehicle accident insurance that covers only damage to the vehicles involved.

 Avoid these common mistakes when purchasing motor vehicle insurance:

  1. Don’t let anyone lead you to believe that “full coverage” is defined as fully covering only the likely property damage incurred in accident (excluding personal injury); In states like Florida that have mandatory Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage, insurance agents may erroneously include PIP, along with full property coverage in the working definition of full coverage; and
  2. Don’t reject Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists (UM or UIM) insurance when you purchase your motor vehicle insurance policy.

 Remember, the bodily injury portion of your policy provides coverage only for those you injure in accident that is your fault.  The UM/UIM portion of the policy covers the injuries suffered by you, your family and occupants of the vehicle in accidents caused not by you, but by an uninsured or underinsured motorist.  Don’t just cover other people for injuries you cause, cover yourself and family for injuries caused by others.  Don’t reject UM/UIM insurance.

 If you have any questions about motor vehicle insurance in Florida contact Emerson Straw. www.emersonstraw.com