Rental Insurance | A Smart Investment

rental insurance

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You don’t need to own your home to benefit from insurance.

Frequently Asked Rental Insurance Questions

Can I afford rental insurance?

The average rental insurance policy in the U.S. is only $190. This breaks down to a little more than $15 per month or the cost of three Grande Caramel Macchiatos. When you consider the alternative – paying out of pocket to replace all of your personal belongings (i.e., your jewelry, electronics, furniture, clothing, etc.) – you should really be asking yourself if you can truly afford NOT to purchase an insurance policy.

What does it cover?

Depending on the policy you choose, rental insurance may provide financial reimbursement for your lost or damaged possessions after your deductible has been met. It may also provide liability coverage for legal costs in the event you’re sued by someone who was hurt in your home. Additionally, if you can’t stay at your place after a covered incident, it can help pay for a hotel.

Covered incidents typically include fire, explosions, smoke, vandalism, theft, burglary, falling objects, freezing, hail, and damage caused by water not resulting from a flood. The true beauty of rental insurance is that it protects your possessions wherever they may be – whether they’re at home, in the trunk of your car or in your backup during a trip to Italy.

How much coverage do I need?

Taking inventory is a good way to determine how much coverage you need. This inventory lists your personal belongings including clothing, along with details about their age, purchase price or current value, as well as other identifying information. Document the items with receipts or pictures when possible. Once you’ve completed the inventory process, total the amounts to determine coverage, keeping a copy in a safe place.

Choose the Coverage That’s Right for You

The Insurance Information Institute (III) recommends getting quotes from at least three insurance companies to compare prices. Keep in mind, however, that not all policies are created equal. Never select a policy based solely on price. An independent insurance agent can compare prices from a number of different insurance companies to find the best possible value for you. For more information, including a free quote, visit us at or contact us at (480) 820-2297.

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Car Emergency Kit Essentials

car emergency kit

Imagine, you’re driving on a lonely, dark road when suddenly your car becomes difficult to control. Managing to safely ease the car to the side of the road, you turn on your hazards, and get out to investigate. If the problem is a flat tire, and you’re prepared with a well-stocked emergency kit as well as a spare, you should be on your way in no time at all. For those situations that don’t involve a flat, you can use your cell phone and call roadside assistance; which we highly recommend having. Many auto insurers offer this.

Although you can certainly purchase a well-stocked pre-packaged emergency kit, the best value and most comprehensive kit is going to be one you create yourself, using many of the items mentioned below. Even if you decide to purchase a packaged kit, like this one for $87.95 from, you’ll want to beef it up to ensure you are always prepared for the unexpected. You should also consider weather conditions in your area; packing accordingly. Here are some essentials for your car emergency kit.

First Aid Kit: In addition to an assortment of bandages, include disposable gloves, adhesive tape, sterile gauze pads, painkillers, antiseptic cream or ointment, alcohol-free cleansing wipes, a thermometer, antihistamine tablets, tweezers, scissors, distilled water for cleaning wounds, insect bite/sting spray, skin rash cream, and anything particular to you and your family. You may want to consider purchasing everything latex-free.

Food & Water: If you find yourself stuck in the middle of nowhere, the first priority is maintaining hydrated, and fed – especially if you have little ones. Have non-perishable food items and bottled water on hand. High-calorie options such as energy bars, almonds, nut butters, dried fruit, beef jerky, trail mix, and crackers are all great solutions. It is important to pack enough water for each of your passengers as well.

Flashlight: You should always include a good-quality flashlight in your emergency kit. It will come in handy whether you’re inspecting your car at night, need some extra visibility when changing a flat tire, or when having to take your son or daughter to use the bathroom off the road. You won’t want to forget to pack extra batteries as well! You should also make sure to pack flares in the event your car does breakdown.

Woolen Blanket: Whether it is pouring, sleeting or snowing, a wool blanket can help you and your loved ones stay warm and dry until roadside assistance arrives. We recommend purchasing a wool blanket over a blend or fleece option, as not only are these blankets extremely warm, they are also flame and odor resistant. Consider packing one in the truck of your car for each member of your family.

USB Battery Pack: While your phone is probably on your person, or nearby, you should also carry a USB battery pack in your vehicle. This should be in addition to a 12-volt car charger. Ensuring your phone is charged, and that you have a way to charge it should the battery run low, may make all the difference between getting help…fast…and not getting any help at all.

Fire Extinguisher: When purchasing a fire extinguisher for your car, look for one that is rated for both Class B and Class C fires by the National Fire Protection Association, or NFPA. The NFPA states that Class B fires are those that involve flammable or combustible liquids, such as gasoline and kerosene, whereas Class C fires involve energized electrical equipment including panel boxes and batteries.

Winter Essentials: If live in an area prone to snow, or icy roads, you may need to consider packing some winter essentials in your car during the winter months. You knew know when you’ll need a folding shovel, ice scrapers, heavy socks, snow boots, chains, a change of clothes, and a pair of gloves is going to come in handy. You can carry all these items and more in a clear Rubbermaid box in the trunk of your car.

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Travel Safety Tips for the Holidays

travel safety tips

from your friends at Hegarty-Haynes Insurance, Inc!

The holiday season has officially arrived, and with it, the busiest travel season of the year. Many will hit the open road and skies over the course of the next month, because as we all know, no holiday would be complete without being in the company of friends and family.

Although we are sure plates stacked with mountains of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie provide good reason to travel as well. In fact, according to AAA, 50 million people are expected to hit the road this very week in celebration of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Traveling during the holidays, however, can cause the best of us to stress as we are met with transportation delays and heavy traffic at every turn. We did mention there are going to be 50 million drivers all trying to make it to their family’s dinner, and perhaps, Thanksgiving and Black Friday sales, right?

The following travel safety tips for the holidays will ensure that you arrive safely at your final destination, so that you too can enjoy being in the company of those closest to you this season, while also avoiding many of the stressors associated with holiday travel.

#1. Motor Vehicle Safety

Please don’t go anywhere in your car until you’ve ensured it is properly maintained. At the very least, you should have your car, tires, lights, and fluids professionally inspected before hitting the open road for the holidays.

#2. Mind Mother Nature

Check the weather along your route and plan accordingly. Winter storm headed your way? Find another route or, if possible, head out a day earlier to avoid it. You can check the weather by visiting the National Weather Service’s website.

#3. Tell Someone of Your Plans

You should always inform someone, preferably a close friend, family member or neighbor, of your travel plans. However, we do caution against posting your absence on social media. If something were to happen, your contact person would be informed, which could make a world of difference.

#4. Don’t Drive Distracted

When you’re driving, 100% of your attention must be on the road at all times, thus ensuring your safe arrival. This includes driving while using cell phones for both talking and texting (both hands on the wheel). It also includes checking when a store opens for Black Friday. Not paying attention while driving can lead to people getting hurt.

#5. Avoid Driving Fatigued

It sounds simple enough, but a good night’s sleep before departing can make for a more enjoyable, and safer drive. Be sure to take regular breaks during long road trips to avoid becoming overly tired. Pull over in a safe, well-lit area if you’re tired, or around every 100 miles or 2 hours.

#6. Follow the Rules of the Road

Follow posted speed limit and other signs. You should also refrain from tailgating, driving defensively, and responding to aggressive drivers: It’s far less frustrating to let an aggressive driver pass you than to become aggressive yourself. Like you, everyone is trying to get somewhere, and get there safely.

#7. Be Prepared for the Unexpected

Keep a blanket, boots, extra pair of gloves, change of clothes, flashlight, flare, jumper cables, jack and a supply food/water in the trunk of your vehicle in the event of an emergency. Traction mats, kitty litter or sand can be used to improve traction on icy roads, should you get stuck.

#8. Don’t Leave Your Pets or Children in the Car

While this should go without saying, yearly statistics necessitate the need for reinforcing the importance of taking your pets and children with you, rather than leaving them in the car. In the winter, both children and pets are at risk of hypothermia, frost bite and, unfortunately, even death in extreme conditions.

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Halloween Prank-Proofing Tips

Halloween Prank-Proofing Tips

Image Courtesy of Pixabay

With Halloween just a few short days away, the streets will soon be filled with Superheroes, Princesses, Zombies, Ghosts, and more looking for treats. Halloween, however, isn’t just for kids or treats.

Teenage and, yes even adult, pranksters also fill the streets looking to deal out a few tricks. If you’d like to prank-proof your home this Halloween, and/or keep your property vandal-free all year long, follow these Halloween prank-proofing tips.

Keep Your House Lights On

This Halloween, keep your interior and exterior lights on all night long, whether you’re actually there or not to discourage pranksters from vandalizing your home. If it looks like you’re home, you – and your house, are less likely to be a target of tricks that have the potential to damage your property.

Install Motion-Sensor Lights

These systems turn on the lights as people walk around your property. This often discourages pranksters. If they don’t do the job, consider purchasing a few motion-activated sprinklers, which can be staked into the ground. These sprinklers will have invading pranksters running for cover in order to avoid getting drenched.

Nowhere to Hide

A security camera will allow you to hand out candy to the costumed kids while deterring pranksters. The market is flooded with quality night-vision cameras that will enable you to live stream security footage to your smartphone so that you can easily respond to toilet-paper wielding pranksters.

Safeguard Your Car

You may want to think about parking your car in a secure place Halloween night. Personal vehicles are twice as likely to be vandalized on October 31st than on an average day, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. What better way to safeguard your vehicle from pranksters than parking it in your home garage?

Bring in Your Jack O’ Lantern

After the costumed kids have gone, bring in your Jack O’ Lantern for the night, unless you want to spend the morning cleaning up smashed pumpkin. While you’re at it, you may also want to consider bringing in loose toys, lawn equipment and your mailbox. This way you’ll avoid having to clean up or replace these items.

Sit Outside During Trick-or-Treating

Instead of waiting inside for the doorbell to ring, get outside and greet trick-or-treaters and neighbors on the porch. It’s a good way to meet new people if you’re new to the neighborhood. We don’t recommend just leaving a bowl of candy out because teens often don’t follow the “please take one only” rule.

Review Your Insurance Policies

Additionally, you should review your home and automobile insurance coverage before kids come trick-or-treating, just in case. You should specifically look at your liability coverage, fire protection, and personal property coverage. If you have questions, or feel the need to up your limits, contact us at (480) 820-2297.

Happy Halloween!

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Activity Trackers and Life Insurance

activity trackers

Image Courtesy of Pixabay

Would you consider sharing the data from your activity tracker?

A Win-Win Situation

1 in 5 American adults use a wearable activity tracker to monitor calories burned, active minutes, heart rate, sleep, steps, water intake, and more. Of these, 65 percent are willing to share the data from their activity tracker – whether it is a Fitbit, Jawbone, Garmin, or Apple Watch – with a life insurance company, if they received financial reward in return for healthy behaviors.

30% of consumers who do not currently own such a device would consider adopting a wearable for the same reason. Among those who would consider sharing their activity tracker results with a life insurance company, 60% would do so for financial savings, such as decreased premiums. Establishing a healthier lifestyle was noted by 57% and getting a free tracking device was a major incentive for 48%.

According to the same 2016 Insurance Barometer Study, just over 35% of respondents would not consider sharing the data from their activity tracker with an insurance company because a) are concerned about sharing too much personal information, citing privacy concerns, or b) are reluctant to share their data because they are currently not very active.

Leveraging the data from activity trackers opens a new opportunity for insurers to gain greater insight about their customers, while encouraging healthy behavior. Because most people who already own an activity tracker are willing to share their data, the opportunity for the industry can only grow as consumer use of activity trackers increases.

Should You Sing Up?

Fun, fitness, and the potential for financial reward in one small package. That, to me, sounds like a pretty powerful incentive for proving you lead a healthy, non-sedentary lifestyle. For all your life, auto, and homeowners’ insurance needs, contact Hegarty-Haynes Insurance at (480) 820-2297.

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Can Dogs Affect Your Home Insurance?

home insurance

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Bringing a new animal home is both exciting and adventurous. But with fluffy coats and puppy eyes comes a whole lot of responsibility. Responsibility that starts with notifying your homeowners (or renters) insurance carrier of your new animal’s arrival. Here’s why this is important.

Bark, Just the Facts, Bark

According to 2012 statistics, provided by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), over 43 million households in the United States have at least one dog. The average, however, is 1.6 dogs per household bringing the total number of dogs owned to almost 70 million. 2015-16 estimates by the Humane Society bring those numbers to 54.4 and 77.8 million respectively.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 4.5 million dog bites occur each year in the United States. Only 1 out of 5 bites become infected. These dog bites, according to the Insurance Information Institute, accounted for more than one-third of all homeowners’ insurance liability claim payouts in 2015. The average cost per claim exceeded $37,000.

In Arizona, dog owners are strictly liable for injuries their pets cause, and liability is imposed without regard to an owner’s knowledge of the dog’s aggressiveness. The only defense to liability according to Arizona State Legislature is that the injured party provoked the dog. Proof of the incident is required. This, unfortunately, often leads to a “he said/she said” situation.

Are You Covered?

The aforementioned facts make informing your independent insurance agent of your new companion highly important. It is also advisable that you review your liability coverage to ensure you are adequately covered in the event Fido injuries someone (review should be done annually regardless of the occurrence of any changes).

Insurance carriers can unfortunately elect to exclude your dog from coverage in the event it is what some call a “blacklisted” dog. They may also raise your premiums. Fourteen of the most often blacklisted dogs, according to a 2014 article from Psychology Today, are:

  • Pit Bull Terriers
  • Staffordshire Terriers
  • Rottweilers
  • German Shepherds
  • Presa Canarios
  • Chows
  • Doberman Pinschers
  • Akitas
  • Wolf-hybrids
  • Mastiffs
  • Cane Corsos
  • Great Danes
  • Alaskan Malamutes
  • Siberian Huskies

Dog Owners: Dog Bite Prevention

  • Educate yourself about the dog breed. Plenty of good resources exist including: The American Kennel Club (AKC),, and Pet MD.
  • Spay or neuter your dog. Healthy puppies can be spayed or neutered as early as eight weeks of age. Spayed or neutered dogs are much less likely to bite.
  • Socialize Your Dog: It’s important for puppies to meet a number of other dogs, people, and places within their first few months of life.
  • Train Your Dog: Begin taking your dog to positive reinforcement training, or reward-based training, shortly after Fido’s first set of vaccinations.
  • Avoid Stressful Situations: Thinking of taking your pet to Fourth of July festivities. You may want to rethink that. Fireworks and other loud noises are often far too stressful on a dog.
  • Be a responsible dog owner – period! This vaccinating and licensing your dog. Treat your dog as one of the family and avoid leaving him/her alone for long periods of time. You should also refrain from keeping him/her locked outside the house or restrained. Teach your children that your dog is NOT a toy and should be gently petted only.
Posted in Hegarty-Haynes Insurance, Homeowners Insurance in AZ, Independent Insurance Agent, Renters Insurance in Arizona | Leave a comment

2016 4th of July Celebrations

4th of July Celebrations

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Do you know what you’re doing for the 4th of July? There is no shortage of spectacular events taking place in Arizona. For those yearning to experience some wonderful fun, here are some of Valley’s best 4th of July Celebrations, for this year; 2016.

Chandler: July 4th Fireworks Spectacular

Monday, July 4th

Tumbleweed Park | 2250 S. McQueen Rd., Chandler, 85286

This annual event from 4:00 – 10:30 p.m. kicks off at Tumbleweed Park in Chandler. Park goers can enjoy all the amenities of this award winning park in addition to lively music, game trucks, and food trucks. A 20-minute fireworks presentation begins at 9:00 p.m. Parking is $5 per vehicle (cash only). Please enter at either Hamilton St. & Germann Rd. or McQueen Rd. & Celebration Way. Disabled parking is available.

Fountain Hills: Fourth at the Fountain

Monday, July 4th

Fountain Park | 12925 N. Saguaro Blvd., Fountain Hills, 85268

Come to Fountain Hills for your good old fashioned red, white, and blue. The celebration will kick off at 6:00 p.m. and end at 10:00 p.m. There will be music, games, and prizes. A majestic fireworks display over the park’s picturesque lake begins at 9:00 p.m. Gather your chairs, blankets, and picnic baskets and enjoy an evening full of fun throughout the park. Admission is free. Parking is available throughout the park.

Gilbert: Fire in the Sky 4th of July Fireworks Celebration

Monday, July 4th

Central Christian | 965 E. Germann Rd., Gilbert, 85297

Celebrate the 4th of July at this year’s Fire in the Sky 4th of July Fireworks Celebration. The event kicks off at 6:00 p.m. There will be music, watermelon eating contests, free beach balls, and other fun giveaways. Food and beverages vendors will be on hand. There will also be activities including: three water slides, snow cone/hot dog concession stands, and DJ entertainment at the Gilbert Youth Soccer Complex located at 4260 S. Greenfield Rd. Fireworks launch at 9:00 p.m.

Mesa: Arizona Celebration of Freedom

Monday, July 4th

Mesa Convention Center | 263 N. Center St., Mesa, 85201

You’ll find fun for the whole family at the annual Arizona Celebration of Freedom. The event features family friendly activities, musical performances, and a reenacting of the Revolutionary War. There will also be classic car show, Yankee Doodle Kids’ Zone, Celebration Splash Zone, and plenty of opportunities to revisit history. The Convention Center is open from 6:00 to 10:30 p.m. and the fireworks show is scheduled to begin at 9:30 p.m. Admission is free.

Phoenix/Ahwatukee: Red, White & Boom!

Friday, July 1st

Pecos Park | 17010 S. 48th St., Phoenix, 85048

Celebrating America’s birthday is blast with Ahwatukee’s exclusive “Red, White & Boom!”. This year, attendees can look forward to event overflowing with family friendly activities including a kid’s zone (included with admission), entertainment, boutique vendors, and local food/beverage concessionaires offering a wide variety of summer treats. The event takes place between 5:00 and 10:00 p.m.

Admission is $5 per person; however, kids three and under are free. A limited number of tickets are being sold for the Oasis Lounge Pack at $25 per person. This includes access to the swimming pool and water play areas, food and beverages. Also for $25, you can enjoy the Boom Room, which features a misted zone with food, beverages, and exclusive access to live entertainment.

Queen Creek: Celebrate America with Country Pride

Monday, July 4th

Schnepf Farms | 24810 S. Rittenhouse Rd., Queen Creek, 85242

Get ready to celebrate our nation’s independence, country style, at Schnepf Farms annual Celebrate America with Country Pride. The event features free hayrides, unlimited ride wristbands (for $15 each), a petting zoo, and a choreographed fireworks show. The event concludes with a showing of a family friendly outdoor movie. There will be free popcorn on hand.

Gates open from 4:00 to 10:00 p.m. Admission is $20 per carload (a portion of proceeds benefit the Queen Creek Performing Arts Center). A small number of VIP tickets are also available for $40 per adult and $25 per child. VIP includes a BBQ dinner in an air conditioned barn, unlimited ride wristband, bottled water, and primo seating for the fireworks. The Celebrate America Firework Extravaganza begins at 8:30 p.m.

Scottsdale: Independence Day Celebration

Saturday, July 2nd

WestWorld of Scottsdale | 16601 N. Pima Rd., Scottsdale, 85260

WestWorld of Scottsdale is at it again with their spectacular Independence Day Celebration. This year’s celebration includes an afternoon and evening full of fun. There will be wristband activities, including a Toddler Town (for children under 5), and free zone activities such as: Star Wars “The Fourth Awakens” interactive stations. WestWorld is open from 3:00 – 9:30 p.m. The event concludes with a 30-minute fireworks show beginning at 9:00 p.m. Admission is $12 ($6 for Scottsdale residents). Children under 5 are free.

Tempe: 65th Annual Fireworks Spectacular

Monday, July 4th

Tempe Town Lake | 620 N. Mill Ave., Tempe, 85281

Located at Tempe Town Park is one of the best fireworks displays in the Valley. Now in its 65th year, the Fireworks Spectacular boasts an inflatable village, rock climbing walls, live entertainment and, of course, a choreographed fireworks show. Kids can participate in relay races and facing painting. The possibilities for food and drinks are endless. Gates open at 5 p.m. and the 30-minute fireworks show begins at 9:15 p.m. Admission is $5 per person in advance and $8 per person at the gate. Children 12 and under and active military personnel are free.


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Summer Road Trip Safety

summer road trip safety tips

Who doesn’t love road trips? Road tripping allows you to venture to areas unknown and meet new people along the way. With falling gas prices and summer sun, this time of year makes the perfect time to buckle up your family, in order to do embark on this one of a kind journey. Just think of the many memories you’ll make. Making it to your destination safely should be your first priority though. Follow these tips from an independent insurance agent to ensure you arrive at your destination safely.

Get Your Car Serviced

Regular maintenance such as tune-ups, oil changes, battery checks, and tire rotations can go a long way towards preventing breakdowns. It’s also a good idea to stock your car with an emergency roadside kit because you never know what type of car troubles and road conditions you’ll encounter. A fully-stocked emergency roadside kit should include:

  • Cell phone and charger
  • Jumper cables
  • Flash light
  • A first aid kit
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Road flares or hazard triangles
  • Jack for changing a tire
  • Basic repair tools and duct tape
  • Nonperishable food and plenty of drinking water
  • Extra windshield washer fluid
  • Maps (or smartphone apps)
  • A change of clothing and some blankets

Plan Your Route in Advance

You know your destination, but you have no idea what the best route is to take to avoid delay, or which route has the most family-friendly pit stops. You’ll save yourself, and your passengers a lot of time and stress if you map out what route you plan on taking well in advance of your departure date. Be sure and tune into to check for possible delays before buckling up. Equally important is to share this information with close family members or friends; just in case.

Err…On the Side of Caution

Opt for safety above all things – remember you’re hauling precious cargo. Schedule frequent breaks along the way to eat, drink, and snap family pictures. There are literally hundreds of things to see and do in the Grand Canyon State alone. If you’re trying to make good time getting to your destination, make sure you and your licensed co-pilot take turns at the wheel. Refrain from tailgating another driver, cutting them off or honking your horn. And, no matter what, always buckle up!

Avoid Getting Hungry

Your energy is zapped, your stomach is rumbling, and you find yourself getting increasingly agitated – and to make matters worse the next exit is miles away. This can, unfortunately, lead to aggressive driving/road rage. Avoid getting hungry altogether by packing enough snacks to last you the entire road trip. Pack healthy foods and drinks (enough for all passengers) such as: energy bars, cheese sticks, nuts, and plenty of H2O. Bring a small cooler if you have to.

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Life Insurance: Who Can Benefit?

life insurance

Life insurance is quite effective at providing peace of mind since it provides money your family can fall back on should something happen to you! While the subject of life insurance is one most people don’t often confront, it is a subject that should be discussed, especially if you’re married and/or have small children at home.

Life insurance can also afford you countless opportunities, depending on the type of insurance you select, such as: leaving an inheritance to your children, paying off outstanding debt, replacing your income, going on your dream vacation, or ensuring your final arrangements are covered should something unexpectedly happen.

Life insurance is for you, if:

  • You’re married.
  • You’re the sole moneymaker.
  • You’re a business owner; regardless of formation.
  • You’re a stay at home parent.
  • You have or are thinking of starting a family.
  • You’re caring for relatives who rely on you financially.
  • You have significant cosigned debt that could financially burden your co-signer.
  • You’re concerned about paying for your own final arrangements – or burdening your loved ones with those costs.

How to Buy Life Insurance?

There are two main types of life insurance available: term and permanent life insurance. Several options exist, however, for the latter including universal, whole, and variable. Term life insurance covers you for a set term, typically 10 to 20 years, and is relatively affordable. When the policy expires, it can usually be renewed for another term, but often at an increased rate depending on your age.

Permanent life insurance on the other hand covers you for your entire life, as long as the premiums are paid, and carries with it a cash value. Over several years of on-time payments, the policy’s cash value amount adds up, earns interest and allows you to take out loans on that interest. However, when compared to term life, the premiums for permanent are much higher. It’s also a bit more convoluted to understand.

Of the two types of life insurance available, term life is easy to understand, and is a great choice for many people. While your employer may offer term life insurance, they often only offer coverage that equates to one to two times your annual income, rather than the recommended seven to ten times your annual income. It’s important to take your personal lifestyle into consideration when purchasing any type of life insurance.

Contact an independent insurance agent to learn more!

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Don’t Text and Drive…Period

don't text and drive

Don’t text and drive…period! You would think as grown adults, we’d know better than to text and drive, but yearly statistics prove otherwise. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), texting and driving causes 1.3 million crashes each year.

Texting and driving, however, isn’t the only bad habit drivers have. As part of their “It Can Wait” campaign, AT&T recently found that 70% of all smartphone users use their phones while driving to: check in or post to social media, do a web search, and/or perform a video chat. All examples of things that could wait.

What is most alarming about these activities is that they all require visual, manual, and cognitive attention from the driver. Visual, manual, and cognitive attention that is better spent on the task at hand: driving. In the amount of time it takes you to check or send a text, a car can travel a distance greater than a football field, leaving you with little room/time to stop.

Working to save lives. The SMARTWheel – twenty-year old T.J. Evart’s invention – is designed to prevent drivers from texting and driving by detecting whether or not the driver has both hands on the wheel. If you opt to go hands-free, even for a second, the SMARTWheel will sound an alert.

The SMARTWheel can also communicate with an app. Let’s say, you allow your teenage driver to borrow the car, and she/he doesn’t keep both hands on the wheel the invention will alert you. Drivers are more likely to keep both hands on the wheel if they know that they’re being monitored.

Here is a definitive, no holds barred, list of ten reasons to NOT use your phone while driving; period:

  1. You could KILL yourself.
  2. You could kill your loved ones.
  3. You could kill other innocent people.
  4. Texting while driving is illegal in 46 states.
  5. 14 states prohibit all drivers from using hand-held cell phones while driving.
  6. You could run over a dog or cat.
  7. You could hit a curb and flip your vehicle.
  8. You could run into inanimate objects.
  9. You could teach your children it’s okay to break the law, and endanger lives.
  10. Your auto insurance rates can skyrocket.
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