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If you are “road warrior” with a job/occupation which requires you to drive many days of the week on interstate highways, so that you rack up fairly significant mileage in a given year, you need to pay special attention to your car insurance coverages. The simple fact is that if you are putting 20 or 30,000 miles on your car in a year, you have a significantly increased chance of being in a car accident and suffering serious personal injuries or even accidental death. Persons who are involved in sales jobs, such as traveling sales agents, persons who served to deliver goods or services such as courier services, van or truck services, and any person who drives their own car and receives a car allowance from their employer should read this article. The occupations and jobs we are talking about are: traveling sales agents/representatives, real estate agents, pharmaceutical/ drug representatives, general sales agents (who call on customers using their own car especially), couriers, and any commercial delivery services.

Lots of Mileage Can Mean Lots More Accidents (Statistically)

car, accident, insurance, injury, attorneyIf you have ever obtained car insurance or renewed car insurance, you know that there are questions on your application about how many miles you typically drive in a week, month or year. The simple fact is, the more that you drive, the more likely the statistics are that you may suffer personal injury or accidentally even be killed in a car accident, and it may be one that is not your fault. For example, I recently talked to a sales agent for one of the yellow pages companies that calls on our law firm. It was interesting to me that she had suffered two car accidents in the last several years, neither that were her fault and her most recent injury lawsuit was still in court-with her NC injury attorney. I asked her how much she drove in a typical year and she said about 30,000 miles. This is a fairly significant amount of car mileage in one year and just think about how statistically she is more likely to be the victim of a serious personal injury or wrongful death because of all the miles she puts on her car driving highways and interstates, such as I-64, I-95, or the other interstates in North Carolina (NC) and Virginia (VA) as she calls on customers in both states. She routinely drives between Norfolk, Virginia Beach, the Outer Banks, down to Greenville, and west over to Roanoke Rapids-tons of driving.

What Occupations Have the Highest Crash Rates?

According to Insurance.com’s 2006 Occupation Report, scientists, pilots/navigators and actors/performers/artists pay the lowest insurance rates of all the occupations reported. Whereas, attorneys/lawyers/judges, executives and business owners pay the highest insurance rates of the occupations reported. The group of attorneys/lawyers/judges, executives and business owners typically have more stressful jobs and tend to spend more time on the highways and interstates as well as more time on their cell phones, which comes at a higher risk for the car insurance companies. On the other hand, scientists, pilots/navigators and actors/performers/artists are less risky to insure because their driving habits, as a whole, are reflective of skills arising from their occupations.

A good example is the detail-oriented and meticulous nature inherit with scientists—which statistically results in safer driving and therefore lower insurance rates. Surprisingly, doctors and lawyers have the highest rates of car crashes of any occupation, and the reason may be that they are just plain tired. For doctors the accident rate is 109 accidents per 1,000 drivers, and for lawyers it is 106 accidents per 1,000 drivers, the Journal News reports. Robert Sinclair, spokesman for AAA New York, told the Journal News that the reason for the high rate of accidents may simply be fatigue. "These are professions that put in lots and lots of hours," he said. "Often fatigued driving can be a greater impingement on skills and abilities than alcohol."

It’s the Car Policy Uninsured Motorist Coverage You Need To Attend To

It’s the UM coverage you need to pay attention to in my view as an experienced injury attorney who has seen too many catastrophic injuries or deaths with resulting inadequate insurance available. I can tell you how many families have suffered serious injuries, and we must report that the uninsured car insurance is really not nearly enough to compensate my client. If you thought that this uninsured car/motorist insurance stuff was to pay the uninsured drivers out there you are not clued in. Read on…

As I have outlined in a number of prior articles and reports, uninsured motorist coverage is probably the most important coverage you have on your car insurance because it will protect you if the other driver has no car insurance or inadequate car accident insurance. Accordingly, the uninsured motoris (car) coverage should be no less than $300,000 per person/$500,000 per accident. This essentially means that you will have no less than $300,000 worth of insurance to protect you in the case of serious or catastrophic injuries that you suffer in an accident that was not your fault-and even if the other car driver has no insurance. For example, if a drunk driver or hit and run driver (disappears) with no car insurance causes your serious personal injuries, it is your car’s uninsured motorist protection insurance coverage that will offer protection to you. Under what seems very strange to people that do not understand the system, your own car insurance company essentially becomes adversarial to you and must hire an attorney to represent the uninsured or underinsured driver of the other car that causes such an accident.

Our law firm has written a free report on the issue of barely and uninsured car drivers and how to protect yourself. If you are in a job/occupation where you have a car allowance but you own your car, you should pay careful attention and be sure that your liability insurance coverages are at least $300,000 per person, $500,000 per accident. Most importantly, you must have adequate on insured/underinsured motorist coverage equal to your liability car insurance—liability coverage protects you if the car accident is your fault, while uninsured coverage protects you or a family member when it’s the other driver’s fault. Accordingly, the take-away from this article is that you should have $300,000 per person or better yet $500,000 per person of uninsured car/motorist coverage on your car insurance policy if you are this type of driver who must log significant miles on the car because of your job.

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm (VA-NC law offices ) edits the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard, and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as a pro bono service to consumers.

One Comment

  1. This is very helpful advice. What is interesting is the professional drivers that are actually better trained. They may be on the road a lot more, but they do make the roads safer. The lawyers and doctors study was news to me when I first saw it, it seems that may have more to do with amount of sleep and not keeping in mind that they are on the road when they are driving.

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