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  • Can You Guess When Most Distracted Driving Crashes Occur?



    Daydreaming while driving is more dangerous than you’d think – and our new review of police data shows just when drivers might be “lost in thought” enough to cause a fatal crash.

    According to a new review of Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) data, Saturdays in September are the biggest days for fatal car crashes involving daydreaming while driving, and Tuesdays in February are lowest.

    The new review builds upon Erie Insurance’s previous analysis, which found that being “generally distracted” or “lost in thought” – otherwise known as daydreaming – is the number-one distraction noted in fatal crashes.

    Related: See the 2018 data on the top 10 distractions involved in fatal crashes

    The FARS data includes information from police reports on the causes of fatal car crashes. Erie Insurance consulted with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety to analyze the data, which is maintained by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

    “We released this data to raise awareness of the ongoing need to combat distracted driving in all its forms, whether it’s texting while driving, or simply letting your mind wander behind the wheel,” said Jon Bloom, vice president of personal auto, Erie Insurance. “No matter what day of the week or what month it is, we urge all drivers at all times to keep their eyes on the road, their hands on the wheel, and their attention on what they are doing.”

    The most recent NHTSA distracted driving crash data shows 3,166 people were killed in distracted driving crashes in 2017.


    The most recent review of FARS data by Erie Insurance resulted in a ranked list of more than 84 combinations (with some ties) of days and months associated with daydreaming while driving. Below are the top and bottom five from 2013 through 2017.

    Top 5 (Most Dangerous):

    1. Saturdays in September
    2. Saturdays in May
    3. Fridays in October
    4. Saturdays in August
    5. Fridays in July

    Bottom 5 (Least Dangerous):

    1. Sundays in December
    2. Thursdays in February
    3. Mondays in January
    4. Wednesdays in February
    5. Tuesdays in February

    The FARS data is based largely on police officers’ judgment at the time of a crash, and interviews with those involved.

    To help drivers better understand and avoid daydreaming while driving, Erie Insurance previously collaborated with internationally known cognitive behavioral researcher Paul Atchley, Ph.D., who has studied distracted driving and worked with national safety organizations to reduce it.  

    VIDEO: How To Stay Alert While Driving, Explained by a Cognitive Behavioral Scientist

    “It’s not clear why people would be more likely to daydream while driving on certain days or in certain months over others,” Bloom says. “Regardless, we think the data is worth sharing if it gets people talking about the serious problem of distracted driving and how to avoid it.”

    April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, but staying alert on the road is a cause to get behind all year long. Learn more about auto insurance from ERIE to stay protected no matter what you encounter on the road ahead.


  • Does My Auto Insurance Cover Rental Cars?


    When it comes time to rent a car, here are two common questions that customers often ask us:

    • Do I need to buy the insurance offered by rental car companies?
    • If I am in a car accident and need to rent a car, am I covered?

    Let’s find out the answers.


    You’re standing at the rental car counter and the person helping you asks if you want to buy insurance through them. Do you need it? Ultimately, it’s up to you but in most cases, you probably don’t, as your personal auto insurance should have you covered for liability claims, but your ERIE Agent can tell you for sure. Additionally, If you have collision and comprehensive coverage, you may also be covered for damage to the rental car.

    Auto insurance from Erie Insurance is designed to suitably protect you and your family for incidental use of a car that’s not your own, such as a short-term rental of less than 45 days. The coverage extends to cars in the U.S. or Canada. That said, it’s a good idea to check with an insurance adviser like an ERIE agent beforehand since auto policies vary from person to person.

    Here are a few questions to ask your agent about insurance and rental car coverage:

    Q: When I rent a car for a combined business trip and a personal vacation, am I covered?

    A: Your personal auto policy may not cover you, but your employer’s insurance might.

    Q: If more than one person is driving the rental car, am I covered?

    A: Your auto insurance likely only covers individuals that are on your policy, such as spouse or kids. So, in this scenario, coverage from the rental company could be a good idea.

    Q: If my luggage, purse or personal possessions are stolen out of my rental car, am I covered?

    A: Maybe. This depends on the details of your individual auto policy. In many cases, personal property may be covered by a homeowners or rental insurance policy, but not by your auto insurance. It may be worth asking an associate from the rental company what their policy is regarding personal property stolen from their vehicles.

    Another option to consider: Many credit card companies offer rental car insurance if you pay the rental fee using their card. Just know that this coverage typically only covers physical damage to the rental car, so you’ll still need separate liability coverage. Get in touch with your credit card company to ask for details.

    With liability coverage, there are a few things you should consider. Most states have a required minimum amount of liability coverage, which rental car companies are required by law to offer, but that still may not give you enough protection. If you have personal auto insurance and have opted for higher liability limits, you’ll be better protected.


    If your car needs to be in the shop for a while after an accident, you may need to rent a car. Most auto insurance policies offer rental reimbursement coverage for a nominal extra charge, but sometimes auto insurance shoppers skip adding it to their policies.

    With ERIE, basic rental car coverage is automatically included in most states if you’ve purchased comprehensive coverage. That means if your car is disabled because of a fire, theft, glass damage or another comprehensive type claim that may be covered under your policy, you’re covered for a compact sedan rental car. If you need a bigger rental vehicle, you could buy additional coverage (details below).

    Related: When is a car considered “totaled”… and what happens when it is?

    To have rental car coverage while your vehicle is being repaired from collision losses, such as hitting another car or a fence, building or pole, you would need to purchase collision coverage and add the rental car coverage to your policy.

    At ERIE, this add-on coverage is called Transportation Expenses. It allows you to select a class of vehicle you want. It’s a nice benefit, because if you are a family of six… a compact sedan is probably not going to work. There are six classes* from which to choose:

    • Class 1: Compact sedan
    • Class 2: Traditional sedan
    • Class 3: Small SUV or pickup truck
    • Class 4: Minivan or midsize SUV
    • Class 5: Luxury sedan or large SUV
    • Class 6: Specially equipped vehicle that can be operated and accessed by an individual with a disability.



    Looking for a rental with a personality that matches yours? Turo (formerly RelayRides), is a carsharing platform that allows car owners to ‘host’ their vehicles, cutting out the rental counter and adding a more personal feel to your rental experience. While auto coverage with ERIE will cover you if you are renting a car through Turo, it will not if you are hosting (i.e. renting your vehicle out). A rental through Turo would also be covered under Transportation Expenses as a temporary substitute after an accident.

    With that in mind, it's easy to add rental car expense coverage to your auto insurance policy. Just ask your agent to add Transportation Expense Coverage.

    And, while you’re at it, consider adding Emergency Roadside Service Coverage. Insurance rules vary by state, so it is best to check with a trusted insurance advisor to review the specifics of your auto policy. Contact your local ERIE agent to help you determine what best meets your needs.

    This story was originally published in 2018. It was updated with new information on April 29, 2019.

    *With ERIE, you can choose from six classes of rental car options, each with a corresponding premium rate. North Carolina and Virginia offer a monetary reimbursement subject to purchased limits of coverage. Rental car classes do not apply.

  • Sprucing Up Your Outdoor Space

    Your backyard is an extension of your home—and you want it to feel as inviting outside as it does inside. When setting up your outdoor living space, you get to choose everything from the furnishings to the lighting, even the greenery and the overall aesthetic.

    Let your backyard be a reflection of your interests and you’ll always feel comfortable in it. If you love cooking, consider adding an outdoor kitchen. If entertaining is more your speed, add an outdoor fireplace and cozy furniture. We’ve got tips for both to help you make your space as welcoming (and safe) as possible.

    1. Make sure your space is well lit. While summer days are long, you can extend the time you spend outdoors by adding some well-placed lighting. This could include motion lights along the house and solar lights along pathways or to mark the edges of landscaping.
    2. Spring for comfy furniture. Or if you already have wicker orwrought iron furniture, pick up some pillows to make it morecomfortable.
    3. Build even pathways. Uneven pathways can spell danger. If you are using brick or stone pavers, make sure the ground is level when you lay them. Ensure no edges are sticking up, so tripping hazards can be avoided.
    4. Create conversational seating. Center your seating around a focal point (like a fire pit) so everyone has a place to settle and chat near each other.Just make sure you're at least 10 feet away from your house and away from hanging branches or wooded areas.
    5. Don’t be afraid to decorate. Bring some decorations outside to liven up the space. Outdoor candles, decorative statues and trinkets all help create a homier space.
    6. Add an umbrella. An umbrella to a patio is what a rug is to a living room; something that can unify your space.
    7. Put your plants to work. Did you know that your plants can add more than greenery to your outdoor space? Lemongrass, mint and lavender help deter mosquitoes; petunias repel beetles and squash bugs; and basil is multi-functional at deterring mosquitoes and flies (and is great for cooking, too!).
    8. Dress up what's underneath it all. Choose an outdoor rug to freshen up your porch or patio. It will add a bit of comfort and color to your space.

    Before you’re ready to relax and enjoy your new outdoor space, make sure to check in with your ERIE Agent (especially if you’ve made significant upgrades or improvements). You’ll want to make sure your outdoor space is protected too.



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Your life is full of precious things. The people you love. The home you live in. The car you drive. All of them need to be protected.

Duckworth Insurance Service offers products that will provide the best long-term protection for your family and your lifestyle. Products you need to keep the things you value most in life secure and set your mind at ease.

Get a fast, free insurance quote now!


Toll Free: (855) 408-2306

Duckworth Insurance Service
14831 Broadway Street
Midland, Maryland 21532

Office Hours
Monday - Friday 8:30-5:00

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