Defensive driving

Drive like your life depends on it

If you’re reading this, you’re probably an above-average driver. And above-average drivers like you know it’s those other drivers you have to worry about. Now is a good time to remind yourself about good driving habits so when you encounter bad drivers — or bad driving conditions — you can perhaps prevent an accident.

  • Put the phone away. Approximately 660,000 drivers use cell phones while driving during daylight hours, according to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA). Put the phone out of reach, keep your hands on the wheel, and your eyes on the road.
  • Minimize other distractions. Of course, smartphones are just one cause of distracted driving. You’ve probably seen it all — eating, singing, preening, smoking, reading a good book. We’ve even heard of someone knitting behind the wheel! Behaviors like that are some of the reasons why in 2015, 3,477 people were killed and 391,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers according to NHTSA. And if you’re a teen driver (thanks for reading!) or the parent of one, we have more tips on how to keep your focus on driving.
  • Adjust for the conditions. Good drivers adapt their driving when there’s wind, rain, sleet, or snow. Give yourself more time to get to your destination — and call or send a message — before you leave — letting whoever is expecting you know that you may be a little late because of bad weather (and the bad drivers who may have caused a traffic back-up).
  • Be aware. Slow down and leave more room between you and the other vehicles on the road using the 2-second rule. If you’re tired, consider pulling off and getting some rest — or asking someone else to take a turn at the wheel.
  • Watch for deer. Deer almost never obey deer crossing signs — or any other road markings, for that matter. Here are some tips about watching for deer.

If you have an accident

Even the best drivers have accidents. That’s one reason why we offer small at-fault accident forgiveness to our policyholders. And if you find yourself in a misadventure with another Grinnell Mutual or affiliated mutual company policyholder, we’ll waive your deductible.

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When an accident happens, we can help you have a better tomorrow. Here’s what you need to do to report your claim.

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