|2022 has presented many challenges to Texans from inflation and supply chain issues to an increasing number of insurance claims. While all automobile insurance claims are not avoidable, most are by driving defensively and following simple tips. It’s a good idea for drivers to be aware of the most common behaviors that can lead to automotive claims in order to avoid injury and paying higher premiums. AAA Texas reveals the top automobile insurance claims amongst AAA Texas members in 2022.
Rear-end collisions/Fender Benders
There has been an increase in automobile insurance claims as more motorists return to the roads. AAA Texas is reporting a 12% increase in overall claims for 2022 compared to 2021. This year rear-end collisions remain the top claim by AAA Texas members. On average, a collision loss can cost $7,600, or more if the vehicle is deemed a total loss, not to mention the threat of injury or death. While repairable vehicles have a lower cost of repair, many repairs are taking longer to be completed due to supply chain issues within the automotive parts market. Rear-end crashes made up 18% of all auto insurance claims AAA Texas processed in 2022. Many times, these crashes can be the result of distracted driving. To avoid being involved in a rear-end collision or fender bender, AAA Texas recommends:
- Put down your phone and stay focused on the road. Taking your eyes off the road for just two seconds doubles your risk for a crash.
- Ask passengers for help or pull over if you need to read or write a text message.
- Activate Do Not Disturb on your smart phone while driving.
- AAA Texas encourages drivers to take the pledge to end distracted driving by visiting aaa.com/dontdrivedistracted.
Collisions caused by backing a vehicle up, on average, added up to more than $4,380 per claim in 2022. This type of crash made up 9% of all auto insurance claims AAA Texas processed in 2022. While back up sensors and cameras are available on a greater number of vehicles, the sensors that make these systems helpful are frequently located in prone areas like bumpers. Therefore, when a crash occurs, the cost of repair is higher due to additional parts being needed to complete repairs and the need to calibrate the safety systems. Drivers should be especially cautious when backing out of a driveway or navigating parking lots during the holidays. Drivers can follow these tips to reduce their risk of being involved in a back-up collision.
- Drive slowly and obey all traffic and directional signs.
- Avoid shortcuts such as cutting across parking lanes and rows of parking spots.
- Watch for pedestrians and other vehicles when slowly backing up and do not rely on backup cameras alone.
- Be extra alert for small children, pets, and parents pushing baby strollers in parking lots.
This year, AAA Texas reports that there has been an 11.6% increase in accidents during lane changes and navigating intersections that resulted in side-impact crashes. Many of these crashes are associated with distracted driving. Some things to consider as you attempt to change lanes or approach an intersection are:
- As you approach the intersection be prepared to stop when the light changes to yellow. Crashes frequently occur at intersections when two parties drive aggressively to beat a light or make a quick left turn.
- When attempting a left turn, never assume the oncoming vehicle is aware that you are there or will be able to slow to avoid an impact.
- If you are aware of a particularly hazardous intersection, it may be best to avoid it all together. Taking a slightly longer detour may reduce your exposure to a loss and reduce stress!
- Vehicles visible in your mirror may be closer than they appear. Be certain to not only consider the distance but also the speed of the vehicle in the lane you are attempting to occupy.
Many crashes in Texas could be prevented if more drivers obeyed the speed limit. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, speed was involved in crashes that killed 935 people and seriously injured 2,593 people on Texas roadways last year. Research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that even modestly higher speeds at the time of a crash dramatically increase the chances of severe injury and death, as well as cancel out the benefits of vehicle safety features (like airbags).
AAA provides more than 62.9 million members with automotive, travel, insurance and financial services through its federation of independently owned motor clubs and nearly 1,000 branch offices across North America. Since 1902, AAA has been a leader and advocate for the motorist and safe mobility. Drivers can request roadside assistance, identify nearby gas prices, locate discounts, book a hotel or map a route via the AAA Mobile app. AAA Texas branch offices throughout the state can be found by visiting www.AAA.com. Follow AAA Texas on Twitter: @AAATexas and Facebook: www.facebook.com/AAATexas.