Avoid a costly mistake | @theU

The University of Utah is a community, educational, and professional center where thousands of people meet every day to work, play, learn, eat, and more. The number of services offered on campus continues to increase and infrastructure development is rushing to meet the growing demand. With a large number of people also driving and leaving campus every day, it is a sad reality that there will be a few automobile accidents. However, it may interest you to know that the most common type of auto insurance claim filed in the U is also the most preventable.

They are named fixed object crashes, and just as the name suggests, it means a car colliding with a stationary object, like a lamp post or a fire hydrant. Most of the time they happen because the driver is in a rush or distracted and not paying much attention to his surroundings. The ironic thing is that while this is the most common auto claim filed here at the U, fixed object accidents are also the most preventable. Here are some tips to avoid a costly accident.

Plan your trip

Know where you are going and how you will get there. Understanding this before you set off gives you more opportunities to focus on the road while driving.

Check your surroundings and get to know the vehicle

Make sure you are aware of your surroundings before you start driving. Walk around your car and make sure there are no hard-to-see obstacles you might encounter. Every vehicle is different, and getting to know your vehicle’s individual characteristics, unique shape and handling, will also help you avoid an accident.

Secure your cargo

A loose board sticking out of the back of a truck or a roof rack that hasn’t been locked can be a recipe for disaster. Make sure all cargo on or in your vehicle is secure and you know exactly where it is before you leave.

Eliminate all distractions

Distracted driving is a risk for everyone, not just yourself. Turn off your phone, don’t turn up your music too much loud and do not eat or drink while driving.

Avoid tiredness

When you are tired or mentally exhausted, concentration becomes much more difficult. Take a moment to control yourself before you leave. Do you need a short break? A siesta? Food? Take care of yourself so that when driving you have a clear head and can concentrate properly.

Be careful in the car parks

Please take a minute before entering a parking lot to think about the vehicle you are driving and consider the height as well as whether the vehicle has a roof rack.

For more information on driver training programs, please see the U Risk & Insurance website.

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