4 Ways to Avoid Parking Lot Fender Benders

4 Ways to Avoid Parking Lot Fender Benders

Christmas is done for this year, and, for some of us, it’s time to return the ugly sweaters, odd-looking socks and other gifts that don’t quite fit what we are looking for.  Often, we tend to take the parking lot for granted. While we may be cautious and careful on the road, we may drive a little bit more recklessly when we are trying to find the perfect spot. 

So, it’s not too surprising to know that many minor collisions and accidents happen when we’re not paying attention, which can be a lot of times when we’re in a parking lot. Thus, with that in mind, we want to share some ways that you can avoid getting into a fender bender. 

Be Aware of Your Surroundings

One of the primary reasons why the parking lot can be such a hazardous place is that objects can be all around us. People walking behind the car, shopping carts in our blind spots – there are many more things to pay attention to than when you’re on the road. 

The best way to stay aware of what’s happening in your vicinity is to use your eyes and your mirrors. Be sure to turn around and look in the direction you’re moving, especially when backing up. Even if you have a rearview camera, it may not provide the complete picture. 

Slow Down

While it may be obvious on the surface, too many people will try to zip through a parking lot, especially if it’s not too crowded. However, because there are so many hazards (see above), this can be a dangerous move. Yes, you may be in a rush, but that’s no reason to drive recklessly. 

Increase Space

One of the most common dangers in a parking lot is people walking. Because we’re not used to following pedestrians on the road, it can feel a lot slower than average. Still, now’s not the time to tailgate. You don’t know what they’re going to do, and they don’t have a blinker to inform you of their next move. Simply put, give them some space. 

Be Respectful

Finally, you want to make sure that you’re giving the same respect to other people in the parking lot as you would expect from them. Avoid the road rage, even if someone did steal your spot. Think about it like this – what’s the worst thing that could happen? You may have to walk a little further? That’s no reason to make the parking lot more hazardous than it should be. 

At Bob Johnson Insurance, we want you and those around you to be safe. These tips (above) will help. However, sometimes parking lot fender benders happen. Having the right insurance coverage is important. Give us a call at 800-624-3339 or click here to contact us. We are glad to help.

Driving Tips: Being Prepared with Adequate Insurance Coverage

This month, we’ve been discussing all types of driving tips.

While following these tips will help you stay safe out on the road, you can’t always prepare for the future. As such, it’s imperative that you do an insurance review on a regular basis to make sure that you’re covered from various occurrences while behind the wheel.

For example, if you’re caught by a red light camera, does that count as a moving violation? Will that make your premiums go up?

What if you want to add a new teen driver to your policy? What kind of rates and coverage can you get? What happens if he or she attends a driving course?

When it comes to insurance, never assume that you’re covered. It’s always a good idea to review your policy with your agent to make sure that you have the coverage and protection you need. Don’t wait until you get into an accident to make changes or update your policy. Do it today, and you’ll have peace of mind next time you’re out on the road.

Contact us today, and we can do an insurance review with you at your convenience. Whether you want to come into the office or do it over the phone, we’re happy to go over your policy and make adjustments as needed. Remember, as insurance agents, we’re here to serve you.

Driving Tips: 5 Tips to Avoid Drowsy Driving

Even though we know better, many of us have driven when we should be resting. Whether it’s been a long day at the office or we’re out late at night, driving while drowsy can be disastrous. In fact, it may be even worse than driving under the influence, depending on how tired you are.

According to the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 56,000 accidents per year are caused by drowsy drivers. Even if you’ve made it through unscathed before, it only takes one time to make it deadly.

Here are some considerations for you next time you get behind the wheel when you’re tired.

  • Let someone else drive. If you have passengers, don’t put the burden on yourself. Unless you’re the only person who can drive (i.e., everyone else is underage or under the influence), then let someone who is more awake handle it.
  • Take a nap first. There’s nothing wrong with pulling to the side of the road and sleeping for a few minutes. At least 15-20 minutes should be enough to help you get through the rest of your drive. If not, then either take a longer nap or try to find another solution.
  • Take a cab (or Uber). If you’re really drowsy and no one else is around, call someone to pick you up. It may seem like an inconvenience, but it’s better than getting into a collision.
  • Get out and stretch. In some cases, the fresh air can help restore your body and mind. Walking around can also get the blood pumping, which will help you feel more awake.
  • Utilize technology. Fortunately, automakers are helping combat this problem with high-tech solutions. Lane departure warnings, driver monitoring systems, and other built-in devices can ensure that you don’t let drowsy driving turn into a disaster. Consider these features during your next car purchase.

Driving Tips: Intersection Safety and Red Light Cameras

Driving is something that we all do, and we all think that we have it down pretty well. After all, we drive to and from work, when we go out to eat, and many other times throughout the day. If we were terrible at it, wouldn’t we be getting into wrecks every time we hit the road?

Well, as excellent as you may be at driving, the fact is that there’s always room for improvement. Not only that, but what about your new teen driver? Are you doing enough for him or her to understand the rules of the road?

With that in mind, over the next few weeks, we will share a number of helpful tips and information regarding our most abundant pastime. Whether you’ve been driving for years or you’re just learning how to do it, these tips will help you make the most out of every trip.

Intersection Safety

This is one area that we all seem to take for granted. In many cases, an intersection has signs or warnings to help you understand what to do and when to go. Stop signs, traffic lights, crosswalks, and turn signals are all elements that could be present at an intersection.

Unfortunately, however, it’s this abundance of safety precautions that leads to problems. We are so dependent on others following the signs and rules of law that we tend to forget to do the one thing we always have to do behind the wheel: pay attention.

Thus, here are some critical things to keep in mind next time you’re sitting at the intersection.

●      Don’t Assume Anything: drivers run red lights, pedestrians cross against the signal, and people ignore stop and yield signs all the time. No matter how many postings there are, all it takes is one person not paying attention to cause a collision. Don’t be that person.

●      Look Both Ways: whether the light’s green or you came to a full stop at a sign, that doesn’t mean that you’re clear to move forward. Always check your surroundings before crossing any intersection, particularly one that is busy.

●      Don’t Push Yellow Lights: too often we tend to try and rush through a yellow light. However, it could turn red before you know it, and then you may wind up in a bad spot. Don’t put yourself in that kind of position.

●      Be Ready to Yield: if you come to an intersection at the same time as someone else, you will likely have to let them pass. Don’t put yourself in danger by being in a hurry.

Red Light Cameras

These are a different animal altogether. If you’ve been tagged by a red light camera (and paid the subsequent fine), then you know how disruptive they can be to your wallet. They may seem annoying, but they are there to help protect you and keep you out of danger. Don’t believe us? According to statistics, over 200,000 people were injured in 2015 from cars running red lights.

●      Be sure to slow down on a yellow light. You will get tagged if any part of your vehicle is at the intersection when the light turns red.

●      Come to a complete stop, even if you’re turning right.

●      Not all cameras are noticeable. Even if you think there isn’t one present, don’t take the risk.

4 Driving Tips for Halloween

Halloween Driving Safety

Halloween is always a festive day for both children and adults. Costumes, candy, trick-or-treaters; there’s plenty to enjoy when this “spooky” day arrives every October.

With so much celebration and kids on foot on Halloween, especially after dark, it’s important to be extra careful when you get behind the wheel.

Below are 5 Halloween driving safety tips to help you make sure Halloween is safe for you, your passengers, and the trick-or-treaters roaming the streets.

1. Don’t drive with a mask.

Masks can be a fun part of any costume. If you are dressing up and your costume requires a mask, make sure to keep it off until you arrive at your destination. Masks can obscure vision and cause unnecessary risk to you and others!

2. Use caution in neighborhoods

While you never want to speed through a residential neighborhood, you’ll want to be especially careful on Halloween.

Families with youngsters are out trick-or-treating, crossing streets and walking in driveways. Drive slower than normal to make sure you are keeping the little ghosts and goblins in your neighborhood safe.

3. Avoid using your phone while driving

Cell phones are a driving distraction that always should be avoided.  (See Part 2 of “10 Dangerous Practices to Avoid While Driving.”)  On Halloween, it’s even more important! With children out on the streets and more traffic, you’ll want to make sure you keep eyes on the road.

Put your cell phone in your glovebox while you drive to avoid the temptation to check it while driving.  To help with sounds coming from your glovebox that might make you curious, turn off your phone or if you have an iPhone with iOS11, put your phone in “driving mode” before putting it in the glovebox.

4. Use your turn signals

You should always use your turn signals, but be extra vigilant about using them on Halloween. With the increased foot traffic, it’s important to signal when turning to avoid an accident with other cars and pedestrians.

Keep Halloween a fun and festive night for you and your neighbors!

By following a few, simple Halloween driving safety tips, you can enjoy the spirit of the season while keeping yourself, and others, safe.

Tips for Driving During the Winter

winter driving - commuter traffic

Staying safe on the road is always important for you, your family who may be with you and also for other drivers.  Many winters offer driving challenges such as slippery roads and other instances that can cause accidents. Here are a few tips to help you win the challenge of the wintery roads.


It is important to get enough sleep to avoid driving while fatigued. You need the extra focus during the winter months to keep an eye out for hazards like black ice (which can be tricky to spot) or other cars that may lose control. Getting plenty of sleep will also sharpen your reflexes so you can react fast enough to prevent an accident.

Make sure you have enough gas

Consider having at least a half full of tank of gas before driving out during the winter.  If you get stranded , it can be your life saver to keep you warm until help arrives.

Keep your eyes on the road

Don’t let distractions divert your attention from diving. Just keep your focus on the road. Phones are a frequent diversion. Don’t text and drive!  If your kids noise or actions are sidetracking you from driving, it is best to pull over, deal with the situation then move on.

Seat belts

There is a reason why wearing your seat belt (and having your passengers wear them too) is urged so often. Aside from the law which requires us to wear them when driving, seat belts work most of the time. They save lives! Winter months get cold and roads can (1) stay wet longer due to the lack of heat or (2) become icy so having a seat belt on while driving on ice can be a lifesaver.

Properly inflated tires

This is another recommendation that most people know all know but is easily forgotten. We get gas but sometimes we don’t think about our tires.

You should know the information about your tires, such as its size and especially your max PSI (how much air should be in your tires). Having a tire gage will help you know what psi is in your tires. When your tires are inflated properly, they perform better, and it helps them last longer.