It's no secret folks are being forced to make tough decisions about how to spend their money. Choosing among nonessentials is a daily exercise. If you're tempted to go without your car insurance, resist the temptation.
Even a minor accident can end up costing you a lot more than you may guess.
The Insurance Research Council is warning that the number of uninsured motorists is on the rise.
Nationally the number is about 14 percent and could reach 16 by the end of the year. Florida ranked among the top five states for the highest number of uninsured drivers in 2007 at 23 percent.
So what's a cash-strapped motorist to do?
Check with your insurer and make sure that you're getting all the discounts you're entitled to, especially credit for auto-theft devices and for being a safe driver. If you have teen drivers in your household who earn good grades or have passed a driver's education course, you might get a discount for that.
Do your best to pay all of your bills on time. Motorists with good credit tend to have lower premiums because insurers consider your bill-paying behavior to be an indicator of potential risk. And comparison shop. Just because you've been with the same insurer for years doesn't mean you're getting the lowest possible rate.
• • •
Pinellas County Utilities has announced an extended closure of one lane of eastbound 118th Avenue N from 44th Street to 31st Court starting Monday with reopening anticipated in September.
The closure is necessary for the relocation of solid waste infrastructure. Work will be limited to weekdays from 8 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. and weekends from 4 p.m. to 10 a.m.
Traffic flow may change from time-to-time during the six-month project so motorists should be alert to this and to workers in and near the road.
• • •
The latest update on the planned closure of 38th Avenue N for a major road improvement project (originally anticipated to begin this month) is that the actual start date is looking like mid April. Reps of Pinellas County Public Works told us that they are awaiting confirmation from the contractor.
• • •
For information on downtown parking and free shuttle service during this week's Grand Prix (Friday through Sunday) and a printable shuttle route map, check out the events page at: LooperTrolley.com.
E-mail Dr. Delay at email@example.com to share your traffic concerns, comments and questions.