First Chicago Insurance Company Joins National Safety Council Driving Initiative

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FCIC provides tips to promote driver safety and works to spread its importance.

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Every day, at least nine Americans die and 100 are injured in distracted driving crashes is a statistic no one should ignore. The more safe driving principles are emphasized, the more each of us will begin to become aware of our own actions and hopefully embrace the messages behind safe driving

“Every day, at least nine Americans die and 100 are injured in distracted driving crashes is a statistic no one should ignore,” began Mike Kaper, Chief Operating Officer, First Chicago Insurance Company. “As an auto insurance provider, stressing the importance of safe driving is fundamental. The more safe driving principles are emphasized, the more each of us will begin to become aware of our own actions and hopefully embrace the messages behind safe driving. Just one second of not paying attention is all it takes to change a life forever.”

The National Safety Council has dedicated the months of April, May and June to promoting safe driving principles. In support of this safe driver initiative, FCIC provides the following tips to promote safe driving.

Tip #1 No cell phone use or texting while driving; no exceptions
Cell phones, dashboard touchscreens, voice commands and other in-vehicle technologies pose a threat to our safety. It’s a fact technology, which helps drivers to multitask, is about convenience not safety. According to the National Safety Council, more than 3,000 people in the United States are killed each year in distracted driving accidents. (1) Cell phones are the number one driving distraction. Drivers tend to use cell phones for long periods of time while driving. Many states ban handheld cell phone usage altogether driving. A citation can be issued in states where bans exist.

Kaper remarked, “Vision is the most important sense for safe driving. Yet, drivers using hand held phones, as well as hands-free phones have a tendency to look at but not actually focus on the objects around them. FCIC is committed to the elimination of preventable accidents by raising awareness of the potential dangers of any type of cell phone usage when behind the wheel.”

Research indicates that drivers using handheld and hand-free cell phones only see about 50% of all that occurs in their driving environment. This phenomenon is called “inattention blindness” and can lead to drivers missing items such as stop signs and even pedestrians.

Tip #2 Install cell phone blocking apps
FCIC encourages drivers to consider installing cell phone blocking apps and devices to help them stay focused when driving. These apps can prevent drivers from making or accepting calls, texting or accessing the Internet while the vehicle is in motion. This technology can be effective for parents of teen drivers and even employers.

Tip #3 Promote safety practices for teen drivers
May has been designated as Youth Traffic Safety month. This campaign gets under way each year during a high-risk time for young drivers such as prom, graduation, and increased summer driving. The National Safety Council reports that 50% of teen drivers will be involved in a traffic accident before graduating high school. (2) However, parents can help decrease the chances of their teen being involved in an accident by practicing with their young driver, stressing safety and demonstrating the importance of no talking or texting while driving.

Teens are often involved in an accident because they are inexperienced drivers. They struggle with night driving, judging gaps in traffic, and driving the right speeds for conditions. In addition, peers, music and other outside stimuli easily distract teens. It is important for parents to continue to teach their young drivers beyond the time they get their drivers license. Of equal importance is strict enforcement of a no drinking and driving precedent.

Kaper concluded, “Implementing a strict rule of no talking or texting while driving starts by first adhering to the policy yourself. It is not easy, but really is a lifesaving decision. The biggest misconception is that it is unsafe for others to talk on the phone or text while driving, but it is ok for me. That mindset has to change.”



About First Chicago Insurance Company:                                                                    
First Chicago Insurance Company (FCIC), whose roots trace back to 1920, is about to celebrate their 100th anniversary. Over the timespan, FCIC has evolved into a multi-line carrier, now offering General Liability, Workers Compensation and writing various classes of Commercial Auto, in response to the needs of the commercial segment. In personal lines FCIC has responded to the changing exposures and needs of their Independent Producers by adding niche insurance products such as Contents Plus Renters and Transportation Network Coverage to enhance their personal lines offerings. FCIC currently offers insurance via independent agencies and the Internet throughout Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Headquartered in Bedford Park, FCIC is located at 6640 S. Cicero, Ave., Bedford Park, IL 60638. 1-888-262-8864

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Linda Gardner
First Chicago Insurance Company
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