Auto safety tips

Your car carries precious cargo: yourself, your family and friends. Protect the ones you love by following safe driving methods, adhering to the rules of the road and respecting the law. Trust Allied for great auto insurance coverage – and helpful online resources to help you be the best driver possible.

Avoiding car accidents

Many car accidents are caused when drivers are distracted or tired. Here's what to look out for:

  • Distracted driving is dangerous driving. Never text while driving, and try to limit your mobile phone to times when the vehicle is parked.
  • Keep children buckled in their seats at all times.
  • Keep pets in carriers or secured in the back seat.
  • Avoid driving when you're tired. Always be aware of medications that cause drowsiness and make operating a vehicle more dangerous.
  • Always use caution when changing lanes. Cutting in front of someone, changing lanes too fast or failing to use your signals may cause an accident or even anger other drivers.

Five things to do if you're in an accident

If you're involved in an accident, first check yourself and your passengers for injuries, then check on the passengers in the other vehicle. If necessary, make certain that no pedestrians are hurt. Also:

  • Stay at the scene. Leaving can result in additional violations or fines.
  • Call 911 or the police as soon as possible. Wait for the police to complete an accident report.
  • If you're on a busy highway, stay inside the car (if safe) and wait for the police or an ambulance. It's dangerous if passengers stand along a busy street.
  • Stay calm; avoid arguments with the other driver. Simply exchange contact and insurance information. If possible, get the names and phone numbers of witnesses.
  • Call your insurance provider to report the claim. Your agent will ask you to send any paperwork you receive regarding the accident and will give you instructions for next steps and auto repair.

What to do if you're stopped by a police officer

If you're pulled over by the police there's usually a good reason. Don't panic, listen carefully, tell the truth and always treat the officer with respect. Additionally:

  • Turn on your interior light and keep your hands where the officer can see them, preferably on the steering wheel.
  • Don't reach under your seat or into your glove box.
  • Give your license and registration to the officer if asked to do so. If the officer asks you to step out of your car, do so without sudden or threatening movements.
  • Stay calm and don't become argumentative, disorderly or abusive − and never attempt to bribe the officer.

If you believe that you've been unfairly treated, you can present your story in traffic court where you'll be heard by a judge or magistrate.

What you should know about speeding and traffic laws

Here are tips that will help you maintain safe driving and avoid a ticket:

  • Obey the posted speed limit at all times. Speeding tickets are costly, and penalties for speeding can include fines, court appearances and loss or suspension of your driving privileges. Also, depending on your insurance policy, speeding tickets may impact your rates.
  • Some roadways are designated as low-speed zones. These might include roads in areas with high pedestrian traffic, such as school zones. Driving over the speed limit can put you and others at risk of harm — and costlier ticket penalties.
  • Never pass a stopped school bus displaying a stop sign to its left; that's a signal children may be crossing the street.
  • If you hear a siren coming at you, it means there's a police or fire truck near you that's heading toward an emergency. If it's safe, pull to the side, stop and wait until the vehicle goes by.
  • Horn honking is reserved for emergencies. Try to avoid using your horn for other situations, such as frustration in traffic. Do, however, use it to alert a driver that may not see you.
  • Completely stop at stop signs and look for other drivers and pedestrians before you cross, especially in areas you drive every day.
  • Use care when parking your vehicle. Always look for tow away zone or handicapped signs. These areas are reserved for vehicles with special permits. Also, certain streets may have parking restrictions, and failing to follow instructions at a parking meter may result in a fine.

Other preventative measures

Allied has other online resources that will help with your safe driving efforts:

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Product, coverage, discounts, insurance terms, definitions, and other descriptions are intended for informational purposes only and do not in any way replace or modify the definitions and information contained in your individual insurance contracts, policies, and/or declaration pages from Allied-affiliated underwriting companies, which are controlling. Such products, coverage, terms, and discounts may vary by state and exclusions may apply.