It is 7:30 a.m., and you are on your way out the door. You have started your car, packed lunch, grabbed the work folder, and said good bye to your spouse as you are rushing out the door. As you are pulling out of the garage you realize you forgot your other spouse that is with you all day every day, YOUR CELL PHONE!!!
It’s the one thing we feel naked without these days. Even though you are running 15 minutes late, you still make time to run back into the house to grab your phone because we all know it is hard to make it through the day without it.
It has become so important, for many of us, NOT to leave the house without our cell phones. Recently, I was at the local grocery store and I walked up to the service counter to use their phone, because I left mine at home. The 19 year old worker gave me an unforgettable glare, and responded with, “you don’t have a cell phone?” We use them in so many different aspects in our life; check email, text, phone calls, Facebook, find a recipe in the grocery store. I am not sure what we cannot do with them these days. It is getting to a point where this type of technology is drastically affecting all of us, not all of us directly now, but it could one day.
The fact sheet: According to the Centers for Disease Control, an average of 80,000 car accidents occurs each month involving the use of a cell phone. Texting on a handheld device while driving is illegal in 41 states; calling is banned in 12. Sixty-nine percent of Americans surveyed by Centers for Disease Control in 2011 said they had made a handheld call from the car in the previous month. And though ninety-eight percent of them knew it was wrong, half of them also admitted to responding to a text message while driving.
See if this sounds familiar: You are driving along and your phone buzzes. You pick it up to see why, and only then, somewhere in the back of your mind, do you realize it is in your hand. You know it should be put down, but a stoplight is just ahead, and responding to this one thing will only take a second.
Now add this to the equation: As you look up after you respond, you notice an icy spot ahead of you on the road. At this point you know you are not going to be able to stop. You react by gripping the steering wheel and hitting your brakes. Within a few brief seconds your car does a 180 and the vehicle behind you slams into you and you both hit the vehicle in front of you at the stoplight. Because of the impact of this accident, two people were killed and two young kids were severely injured. All this occurred because of a buzz on your cell phone.
People often exaggerate the extent to which they are on top of things. This is especially true of technology. We believe we have more control over what is happening than we really are aware of. If we would have just waited to reply to that text message or Facebook alert, we would have seen the icy spot and avoided the occurrence all together, and lives would have been saved. However, we cannot change the past, even though we may want to.
It is a slippery slope when it comes to accidents and cell phones; that is why no one should text and drive. Are you covered if you look down at that buzzing cell phone and are responsible for an accident like the one mentioned above? To protect yourself, talk with an insurance agent about a personal liability umbrella policy.
In the accident mentioned above, with the two lost lives and severe injuries, an auto policy may not have enough coverage to protect a policy owner once a lawyer gets involved. When auto liability limits are met, a personal liability umbrella policy would potentially pay for any excess limit needed in a claim.
Umbrella policies are designed to protect you for all types of occurrences. In my opinion, the biggest exposures are auto accidents; please make sure you are prepared for the unexpected, because it only takes a few brief seconds to drastically change your life and that of others.
Don’t text and drive; our phones can be our most dangerous passenger. Until each of us realize that, talk with your agent and protect yourself properly.
Author: Alicia Driscoll
Location: Grand Forks Insure Forward
This advice is for general information purposes only and may not apply to you. Every insurance situation is different. This is not intended to be legal advice. Please consult an Insure Forward representative regarding your individual situation.
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