We're a divided nation in many respects. But none, apparently, more so than traffic. Namely, traffic accidents: In one of those odd coincidences that are the stuff of far too many dumb Facebook jokes, red states tend to have more fatal traffic accidents than blue ones.
Needless to say, this isn't because of politics, unless there's some sort of secret conspiracy among voters to get in car crashes we are somehow being left out of. It turns out there are a few very strong, very important factors that simply weigh heavily on red states when it comes to staying safe on the road.
First and foremost...
It's fairly simple; blue states tend to be more urban. Urban areas have their downsides, but in terms of driving, it's usually big, well-lit highways or stop-and-go traffic (sometimes the one clogging up the other). It may be frustrating, but it's a lot less likely to get you into a wreck than narrow, twisty back roads in the dead of night.
More to the point, there are more options for getting off the road entirely: If you live in Wyoming, it's a lot more difficult to take the bus to work than it is if you live in New York City. The less you have to use your car, the less likely you are to be in a car accident. This ties directly into our second factor:
Total Miles Driven
Furthermore, urban areas are closer together, meaning that if you need to pick up groceries or decide to go out to the movies, you’ll spend less time on the road. Rural areas, which tend to go for Republican candidates, don't really enjoy that convenience. Even the most careful, conscientious driver in the most dangerous state is still likely to rack up a lot more miles on the road in places where they absolutely have to drive.
In addition to more time on the road, the more miles you rack up on your car, the more wear and tear is put on it and the more likely you are to experience dangerous malfunctions that put you at risk.
We're not going to say here that some states have better police than others. Really, when it comes to, for example, drunk driving, there's no state in America that can really argue it's got anything to brag about. Well, except Delaware, which in 2008 only had 215 DUI arrests.
But this ties into our point about law enforcement: Delaware is less than 2500 square miles, our second smallest state. Compare that to, oh, we don't know, Texas, which is more than 100 times as large. While there are plenty of state and city police officers doing a great job across America, they're only people, and they can't be everywhere, especially on smaller roads where people are more likely to misbehave.
When police have more ground to cover, almost inevitably, they're going to be less able to stop problems before they start. A police officer pulling over a driver weaving on the road is the difference between a sleepy driver getting in the back seat for some shuteye and a driver suddenly waking up right before something awful happens.
Of course, we can all do better on the road, and it's important that we try. But it's also important to remember some of us just have to drive more. Our auto insurance companies sure remember that when it’s time to set our rates.
Tags: Traffic Accident, Cheap Insurance, Safe Auto, SafeAuto Insurance
Perhaps you're familiar with that sinking feeling in your stomach that arises when you see flashing red and blue lights in your rear-view mirror. After you pull your car over, you pray that there's some sort of mistake, or that you will just get a warning from the very forgiving police officer. But your hopes are dashed as soon as the cop hands you the ticket.
What should you do now? Should you pay the ticket? Or should you get a traffic ticket lawyer?
What Does a Traffic Ticket Lawyer Do? Before making your decision, it helps to know precisely what a traffic ticket lawyer is and what he or she does. For a flat fee, a traffic ticket lawyer handles the process of navigating your citation through the bureaucracy of municipal, county, and/or state courts, and represents your interests every step of the way. But this usually does not entail arguing before a judge or jury in an effort to establish your innocence. After all, the vast majority of traffic tickets involve people who did in fact commit the infraction.
The goal of every traffic ticket lawyer is to minimize the financial and criminal impact of your violation. Once a traffic ticket goes on your criminal record, auto insurance companies will be made aware of it -- and they will generally jack up your premiums for the ensuing years. Plus, a traffic violation can have negative ramifications for the employment status of some people (like couriers or bus drivers, for example).
So if there's a way that your traffic ticket lawyer can get the court to dismiss your moving violation altogether, he or she will do so. Your ticket can get often dismissed if your attorney discovers a significant error on the ticket itself, or subpoenas the issuing officer and he or she fails to show up for court.
Should I or Shouldn’t I? More often than not, it is to your benefit to engage the services of a traffic ticket lawyer. This rule applies to almost any type of traffic offense, from speeding and broken taillight citations to making illegal turns and running a red light. If it's simply a matter of not having updated insurance, you can sometimes present proof of insurance to a judge and have that offense dismissed outright. But if you happen to get cited for DUI, that's an entirely different legal area (and you will definitely need a lawyer for that).
If you do happen to have the time, the motivation, and/or the requisite legal knowledge, then perhaps you can adjudicate your traffic ticket by yourself (but even then, you would likely only avoid the traffic ticket lawyer's fee and would still have to pay the fine and/or court costs). In the unlikely event that you feel that you are indeed innocent of the moving violation and feel you have the evidence to support your position, then you can request a trial and act as your own counsel; but the outcome of the case is not guaranteed to be in your favor.
Tags: Traffic Ticket Lawyer, Speeding Ticket, Car Pulled Over
Getting a traffic ticket is the worst. In an ideal world, we'd never have bad driving habits; but sometimes, we slip up, and we get called to account for it. But something people never stop to consider is the fact that when you do get caught, you can pay way more than just the cost of the ticket. Heck, the cost of the ticket is just the start of this particular fiscal nightmare.
Keep in mind: these fees aren't in place to rip you off. They're in place for two reasons: one, to offer you a pretty powerful incentive to stay within the speed limit and drive safely, and two, so that it's the people breaking the traffic laws who primarily pay for traffic court instead of the taxpayers. But that doesn't make the bite hurt any less. Here are some of the fees you can expect to pay for a given speeding ticket.
Needless to say, if you can't get that ticket off your record, it goes straight to your auto insurance. How high can it go?
Up to 25%, depending on the severity of the violation. This is because speeding kills; those are the facts. And you've just sent your insurer a very clear signal that you're a lot more likely to cost them a lot of money all of a sudden.
The good news is that this percentage will gradually drop and then vanish after three or so years...provided you can keep within the speed limit.
Like we said, there are rules in place to shift the cost of running the courts onto the people making use of them: namely, people getting speeding tickets. How much you'll pay in court costs vary from state to state: for example, in Ohio, it will run you $124. But, just like cars, that's the basic package, and there are plenty of hidden costs even there.
Say you want to just pay your ticket on your credit card and have done with it; they'll be happy to run the card...but since they get charged swipe fees, doing so will likely result in a 4 to 5% "convenience fee." Want a trial transcript? That'll cost you. Want to appeal? That'll cost you.
Vehicle Administrative Fees
The fun's not over yet: some states, like New York, will charge you a "vehicle assessment fee" over three years, as a little reminder that speeding will hurt your wallet. Even in states without these fees, if your car is impounded, you'll have to pay the storage fees and other costs to get it out and drive it off the lot.
But once you have your car back, you'll still, according to many states, have to relearn how to drive it, or make restitution for your bad behavior
Traffic School and Community Service
Let's say you either drove way too fast, or followed our tips for keeping a ticket off your record and bargained the judge into an alternative punishment. Now you've got traffic school.
Traffic school is not provided free of charge: you'll have to pay to get in. Even if you get an alternative sentence, like community service, it's still money coming out of your wallet: you have to pay to get there, and there's the money you lose when you could be doing something else.
In short: don't speed. It costs, and it costs more than you think.
Tags: traffic tickets, expensive speeding ticket, court cost traffic violation, vehicle administration fees, traffic school, safeauto, cheap inusurance safe auto
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There are many bad drivers out there on the road. Play It Safe with helpful tips, articles, videos, and of course, examples of what not to do. Brought to you by SafeAuto Insurance Company.