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Are You a Distracted Driver?

distracted drivingWhen you are driving, do you ever look after children seated behind you, snap photos or fiddle with your radio or navigation system? How about eating, drinking, daydreaming, engaging with passengers or rubbernecking while behind the wheel?  These are all forms of distraction that steal your attention from the road.  But by far the most deadly distraction for a driver is texting or making and receiving phone calls while behind the wheel. The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA)  tells us that 42% of drivers admit to reading a text or an e-mail while driving. Moreover, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) attributed 3477 fatalities to distracted driving in 2015 alone. 

ERIE Insurance surveyed 1915 U.S. drivers in 2015 to study their driving habits related to driver distraction. The study showed that many Americans are driving distracted—and they're doing some pretty crazy stuff behind the wheel. See for yourself in this Infographic , and learn more in the article, “You did WHAT behind the wheel?” 

You might be wondering how you might better focus your attention on the road while driving.  Actually, the Insurance Information Institute (III) offers a great checklist to remind you how to avoid the common driving distractions. Part of what you'll find there is how to be well prepared before you drive and how to manage what goes on in your moving vehicle. 

A few of the many good tips to avoid distracted driving include:

  • Using Voice-Activated Dialing to keep your hands on the wheel
  • Pre-Programming your Navigation System before getting on the road
  • Engaging a Driving App that automatically receive calls and texts with a pre-recorded message that you are driving at the moment and will contact the caller/sender later.

Auto Insurance Tip

Remember, you can do much to protect yourself and others by avoiding driving distractions; but accidents might still happen.  So be sure that you are protected and that your auto insurance coverage is exactly right for your circumstances.  If you have not consulted with your insurance agent recently for a policy review, you’d be wise to do so.  By assuring that you are driving safely and well-protected by your insurance, you can be a much more confident driver.

Here at Daniel Howley Insurance Agency, we are a full service insurance agency, offering auto/car insurance, homeowners insurance, business/commercial insurance and life insurance to Rockville MD, all of Maryland and Virginia. Our experienced insurance agents welcome the opportunity to discuss your coverage needs and questions at any time.


Two new state laws became effective on October 1, 2013, that will change how people drive in Maryland.

Seat Belt and Child Safety Seat Use

An expanded seat belt law dictates that everyone in the vehicle must wear a seatbelt including all back seat passengers.

Also included is the provision that all children under eight years old and under 57 inches tall must be secured into a child safety seat, regardless of their weight. These are both secondary offenses. So a police officer must have some other primary reason for stopping you. But, citations can be costly – up to $50 for each unrestrained person inside the vehicle at the time.

Hand Held Mobile Phones

Starting on October 1st, holding a cell phone in hand to talk while driving is no longer a secondary offense and the police may perform a traffic stop for no other reason than seeing you holding a phone while driving. Although Maryland became a hands-free state in 2010, it was then a secondary offense to drive with a cell phone in hand, meaning that a driver could not be pulled over exclusively for talking on a hand held phone. To be able to ticket for a secondary offense, a police officer would have had to have some other primary reason to pull you over.

Now, drivers who are ticketed for using a handheld phone will face a fine of $75 for a first offense, with second and third offenses coming with fines of $125 and $175, respectively.

Auto Insurance Tip

If you have not done so recently, this might be a perfect time to contact your insurance agent to review your auto insurance policy. This assures that you will have the best coverage at the best rate available as you take to the road.

Here at the Daniel Howley Insurance Agency, we are always available to help you explore your auto insurance options.  Why not contact us at your convenience?

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