American Property Casualty Insurance Association
  • Staff Contact: Brooke Kelley     
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Brooke Kelley-Hunt


847-553-3671 or Cell 847-894-3881





June 30, 2014

Celebrate Independence Day with Simple Road Safety Tips

CHICAGO–The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) is launching the “Safety 1st on the 4th Campaign to encourage motorists and homeowners to use caution this holiday weekend. If you’re planning to hit the roads this weekend, you won’t be alone. According to AAA more than 41 million Americans will travel more than 50 miles, which is a 1.9 percent increase from last year. The majority of them will be on the road from July 2nd through July 6th.

“If you’re one of the millions packing up your car for a road trip, you might want to take a few minutes to make sure your vehicle is ready for the long haul,” said PCI’s director of personal lines Alex Hageli. “You never know when your car could break down or when you may need road side assistance through your insurer.”

“Also make sure you have your insurance cards with you. So far 37 states have enacted laws allowing consumers to use their smartphones to show they have insurance during a traffic stop, but some states still require you to have a paper copy on hand.”

PCI’s Independence Weekend Holiday Travel Tips:

Buckle up, and drive safely. Seat belts save lives and help prevent injuries. Also, make sure kids are in the proper car or booster seats.

Plan ahead and allow extra travel time. With more people on the roads, often driving in unfamiliar territory, the potential for a traffic crash increases. We encourage motorists to plan their routes in advance when traveling to new destinations, be patient, and allow for extra travel time.

Observe speed limits, including lower speeds in work zones. Stay focused on the road and be aware of changing traffic patterns caused by construction.  Please be cautious of the construction workers themselves, who are often in close proximity to the highway – and at great risk.

Avoid distracted driving. When the entire family is traveling in the car, the opportunity for distraction is multiplied.  Remember to put the phone down, and never text while driving.  Be careful when eating on the run, as lunch can be just as distracting as a cell phone.   

Beware of crash taxes. Although they have been banned or limited in 13 states, many cities, counties and fire districts will charge the at-fault driver for emergency response costs in an auto accident.  Fees range from $100 to over $2,000 for response services.  The average cost is $200.  A typical insurance policy does not cover the cost of a fire truck responding to an accident.

Have a plan for roadside assistance. If an accident occurs, be wary of unscrupulous towing companies.  Have the phone number for your insurer or a roadside assistance program ready so you know who to call.  Some towing companies take advantage of drivers after an accident and you could find yourself facing excessive fees or complications recovering your car from the tow yard.

Update your proof of insurance. Before hitting the road, make sure to replace any expired insurance identification cards in the event you need to prove you have insurance during a traffic stop. Though it is always the best practice to have a hard copy, don’t panic if you have misplaced yours - 37 states have enacted laws that allow you to show proof of coverage on your smartphone. Call your insurer today to see if they offer this feature.

For a complete list of states that allow electronic proof of insurance visit PCI’s E-Commerce Page.

PCI is composed of more than 1,000 member companies, representing the broadest cross-section of insurers of any national trade association. PCI members write over $195 billion in annual premium, 39 percent of the nation’s property casualty insurance. Member companies write 46 percent of the U.S. automobile insurance market, 32 percent of the homeowners market, 37 percent of the commercial property and liability market, and 41 percent of the private workers compensation market.