How Often Should You Take A Defensive Driving Course

In Littleton, CO, the agents of Front Range Insurance Services take pride in providing a comprehensive list of motor vehicle insurance to their customers. They often recommend taking a defensive driving course to new clients or to individuals who have been with them for a while. Taking a defensive driving course every few years offers many benefits and may also qualify you for a discount on your insurance premiums. 

Sharpen Your Driving Skills

Defensive driving courses, even those that are taken online, can sharpen your driving skills. The lessons are designed to reinforce what you already know and remind you of tips and techniques you may have otherwise forgotten. The course will also expose you to new information that is being included in updated classes.

Reinforces Your Knowledge of Traffic Laws

Taking a defensive driving course that is designed for your state will help you stay abreast of any new changes to old traffic laws. This can include speed limit increases, parking requirements, etc.  Knowing and understanding the traffic laws in your state are essential if you plan on being a safe driver. Taking a defensive driving course every two to four years will help you stay up to date on any laws that may have changed.

If you live in the Littleton, CO area and have questions about how a defensive driving course can benefit you, call the agents at Front Range Insurance Services. You can schedule an appointment with an agent and discuss your options. They can help you find a defensive driving course for Colorado that will reinforce what you already know and provide you with new information you may need.

Colorado Alcohol and Impaired Driving Rules

For some reason, people continue to drink and get behind the wheel of their cars. Even if you think you are sober enough to drive, after 1 drink you can become impaired. In Colorado, at least 77 impaired drivers are caught daily by the police. Because it is such a dangerous issue, the independent agents in Littleton, CO at Front Range Insurance Services would like you to know the rules before you drink and drive.

The Colorado DUI Law

The Colorado DUI Law stipulates that if you are convicted of a DUI for the fourth time, it will be considered a felony. First-time offenders receive a misdemeanor, but repeated offenders could be labeled habitual traffic offenders and have their license revoked permanently.

The Penalties for Impaired Driving

When you are caught driving while intoxicated, you can suffer criminal penalties as well as administrative and financial obligations. Depending on whether it is your first or fourth offense, you could spend 2 days in jail to up to 6 years in prison. The administrative penalties start with your license being suspended for 9-12 months. There are also fines to consider. You may be saddled with tremendous court fees that could reach up to $1500.

Of course, fines and a short jail sentence is just the tip of the iceberg if your carelessness results in an accident where another person is injured or killed.

What You Can Do

  • Before you decide to drive after a night of drinking, you should call a cab or use a service app that will drive you home at night.
  • Take turns having a designated driver for the evening.
  • Stay at a nearby hotel where you can walk to from the bar or club.

In Littleton, CO, Front Range Insurance Services wants to help keep you and others safe on the road. Visit or call our offices if you want to establish a new auto insurance policy or adjust your current one.

Understanding the Increase in Auto Insurance Rates

For the last three years I’ve spent spring break week enjoying a road trip with my family. This vacation always seems to happen right before my auto insurance renewal generates. This year was no different and like many of you I grumbled when I saw my premium. After all, I’ve had no accidents, tickets, or claims of any kind. Sigh.

For over 5 years Colorado has been experiencing increases on home insurance. Given our catastrophic hail losses and wildfires, most people understand these increases. However, we are just starting to see the beginning of industry-wide auto insurance rate increases. This is a national concern, but has significantly impacted Colorado for a number of reasons. I’d like to thank Safeco Insurance for sharing some of these reasons with their sales force.

MORE MILES: One reason is that we are driving more miles. Turns out I wasn’t alone on my spring break road trip. Encouraged by lower gas prices and higher employment rates, U.S. drivers drove 3.1 trillion miles in 2015 according to the Federal Highway Administration. That’s a record.

MORE NEW CARS: New car sales hit a record in 2015, just under 17.5 million vehicles sold, up 5.7 percent from 2014. The safety, technology, and convenience features are great – however the cost to repair or replace them isn’t cheap.

MEDICAL COSTS RISING: Along with the increase in severity and frequency of accidents, we are also seeing an increase in medical costs. From 2005 to 2013, the average cost for a bodily injury claim rose 32.1 percent, according to the Insurance Research Council.

MORE DISTRACTED DRIVING: I know this one doesn’t come as a surprise, but the number of distracted drivers on the road is on the rise. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly how many accidents are caused by distracted driving because accident reports don’t always cite if a cell phone or other distraction was a contributing factor. I’m sure that most of you can personally attest to witnessing all of the distracted drivers out there.

As I enjoyed my road trip to Great Sand Dunes National Park, I made an effort to be a focused driver. Between my two children (occasionally bickering in the back seat), my cell phone (alerting me for every email and text), my GPS, and the DVD player entertaining the children — let’s face it — there are plenty of distractions.

OUR RESPONSE: We take customer service seriously and many of our clients have told us that this is what sets us apart. We’ve implemented a new system that allows us to better monitor all client renewals. We are double checking and looking for any new discounts that might apply and we are taking advantage of our companies that offer usage based insurance programs. Our goal is always to find the right coverages at a competitive price.

5 Techniques to Avoid Road Rage

Managing your anger may not be easy with all of the aggressive drivers on the road. Road rage can lead to accidents, physical violence, and even death. Taming road rage is the first step to resolving conflicts. With the following techniques, your ride can be a much safer one.

1. Plan Your Drive In Advance

Leave your home or office a few minutes earlier or later to miss rush hour traffic. Standing in bumper-to-bumper traffic can cause tempers to rise. This could lead to aggressive driving and road rage.

2. Handle Tailgaters with Caution

When someone is following you too closely, resist the urge to slow down even further. This will aggravate the other driver and possibly start a conflict. You should move over into an adjacent lane when you notice a tailgater and let them pass.

3. Ignore Erratic Behavior

Don’t assume another person’s driving is about you. Just because they cut you off, does not mean that they knew what they were doing. They may be distracted or oblivious. Slow down, take a breath, and proceed with caution. If they are flying down the highway, allow them to get in front of you and reduce your speed until they are out of sight.

4. Following Behind Slow-Pokes

Even if you are not in a hurry, there always tends to be a slower driver that gets right in front of you. You should keep at least one car length in front of you in case they stop suddenly. Try moving into another lane or take an alternative route.

5. Parking Space Fights

You got there first, but another driver swoops in and takes your spot. It’s okay to let them have it. There is probably a parking space a few feet away. Take a deep breath and don’t confront the driver. They may have a weapon.

The Littleton, Colorado agents at Front Range Insurance Services are available to help you understand how you can avoid road rage. The agents can also provide quotes for new policies and offer information for those with existing coverage.

Get a Winter Emergency Kit Ready for Your Car

Few places in the United States see winters as harsh as Littleton, CO. If you’ll be driving in the area during the coldest months of the year, make sure you’re prepared for the snow and ice. Most people in Colorado know to put together an emergency kit for their car in the winter, but few stop to think about how they should adjust their auto insurance coverage for the season. At Front Range Insurance Services, we recommend doing both.

Put Together an Emergency Kit

In Colorado, drivers not only need to deal with bitter cold, but also heavy snowfall and slippery ice. Your emergency kit should have stuff to keep you warm and equipment to help you out of a ditch. You may want to include the following in it:

  • winter boots
  • a winter hat and gloves
  • a blanket
  • a shovel
  • cat litter

If your car’s wheels can’t get traction in a slippery spot, putting some litter down may provide enough grip to get your car moving. If you don’t need the litter during the winter, you can either use it for your cats or donate it to a shelter once spring arrives.

Adjust Your Insurance Coverages

Because driving conditions are often difficult during winter, the likelihood of being in an accident increases during the season. You might want to adjust your auto insurance coverage to compensate for the increased risk. For instance, even if you don’t normally carry comprehensive and collision coverage, they may provide valuable protection during the winter.

If you’d like to discuss which insurance coverages you should have during winter with an insurance agent, contact us at Front Range Insurance Services. Our experienced agents will ask about your car and your driving habits with you, which will help you decide what coverages to include in a policy. To get in touch with them, contact us through our website.

 

Be Prepared To Drive Outside Of The US

When you decide to drive abroad, you want to make sure that you are following all of the rules – and preparing for everything you may encounter. The road signs may be different, and you may even be driving on the other side of the road. There are some ways to prepare so that it is not such a frightening experience.

You may need more than just a US driver’s license. Many countries require a translation, which comes in the form of an International Driving Permit. These are often available from National Auto Club and AAA for a small fee.

You have to be at least 18 years of age to get an IDP – and there may be other driving requirements by age based upon the country you are visiting as well as the rental car company you are using.

Just as insurance is a must in the United States, you want to make sure that you have coverage for your rental car abroad as well. This can be obtained independently or from the rental car company. Know your coverage options before you go and make some cost comparisons.

There are a few other things you want to prepare for, which can include:

  • Driving a stick
  • The steering wheel being on the “wrong” side
  • Traffic within city centers

Do as much as you can to practice for these scenarios.

It can be advantageous to rent a GPS, which will ensure you have adequate driving directions. It also ensures you don’t have to depend on a cellular signal and paying roaming rates for using your smartphone.

You want to be the safest on the road as possible. Call today and our agents at Front Range Insurance Services can discuss various levels of insurance coverage for you in Colorado.

 

Hit & Run Coverage: What You Need To Know

There is a lot you need to know about hit and run coverage. Colorado requires you to maintain a minimum level of auto insurance. However, there is additional coverage that you will want to consider so that you can reduce what you would have to pay out-of-pocket if you are involved in any kind of hit and run.

Collision coverage may be required of you, regardless. If you have a lien holder for an auto loan or a lease, they may require collision coverage of a certain level. Regardless of fault, this will help you to get the car repairs necessary so that you can get your car back on the road.

Medical payments coverage protection is going to provide medical bill coverage regardless of fault. This will include protection for you and your passengers for medical bills, lost wages, as well as child care services if you are currently unable to care for your children because of injuries.

Uninsured motorist coverage will provide property damage and bodily injury coverage. Since the other party didn’t stop to provide you with insurance, it’s as if they don’t have insurance – and therefore you will want this coverage to minimize how much you would otherwise pay out-of-pocket.

Finally, you will want to look at medical payments coverage as well. This can help to pay for all of the medical bills that you and your passengers may encounter after being involved in a hit-and-run. Even if everyone has health insurance, the medical bills can be very high and depending upon the extent of injuries, it could be enough to bankrupt you.

It’s important to have auto insurance that you can rely on. Contact one of our agents at Front Range Insurance Services today where we can work with you on a customized policy to help you enjoy peace of mind.