7 Ways to Save with a Teen Driver

7 Ways to Save with a Teen Driver

A new driver in the household can really impact your auto insurance rates. This is because teen drivers ages 16 -19 are more likely to be involved in accidents than any other age group. If you’re the parent of a teen who just got their license, learning how you can save on your auto insurance is a necessity.

Here are 7 ways you can control your car insurance premiums and get discounts with a teen driver.

1. Shop for coverage with free quotes

Whether you stick with your current auto insurance carrier or you plan to shop around, make sure that you go with an insurance company that will quote your new driver for free and let you know upfront any benefits or discounts that you may be eligible for.

 

2. Enroll them in a driver safety education course

Most insurers will reward teenage drivers who complete a driver’s education or safety course with a discount. By passing the course your teen can prove they have the knowledge and skills behind the wheel to avoid an accident.

 

3. Take advantage of good student discounts

Good grades don’t only help your teen out in the classroom, they can also qualify for a ‘good student discount’ with your auto insurance provider. Talk to your insurance agent to see how much you can save by turning in your child’s report card.

 

4. Purchase a reliable vehicle with a good safety rating

We all know that the costs of our vehicles directly influence what we will pay for auto insurance. Before you go car shopping with your teen talk to your insurance agent and see how much it would be to insure a newer car vs. an older car. Don’t forget to ask about any discounts or rewards for safety ratings or features like airbags, anti-lock brakes, seatbelt alarms, and power steering.

 

5. Limit the miles they drive

Miles driven can also affect the cost of your insurance. This is because the longer you are on the road, the more likely you are to have an accident. So, one of the best ways to avoid a rate increase is to keep mileage to a minimum. Limit your teens driving to work, school, and only in-town functions and you may qualify for low-mileage discounts.

 

6. Bundle your protection and save

Instead of getting your teen their own suit insurance policy, you can save by adding them to your existing policy. And you can save even more each month with the ‘insurance bundle discount’- when you add your auto insurance policy onto other policies that you have with your carrier, like your homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance policy.

 

7. Drive SAFE!

The best way to save money (and stress) is to teach and emphasize the importance of safe driving. It will not only prevent a costly accident, but it will give you peace of mind, as a parent, that your new driver is doing everything they can to stay safe on the road.

 

There’s no greater value than knowing your family is properly protected while saving money.

Did you know that California Casualty has some of the best teen driver rates in the industry, without skimping on protection or cutting any corners? Check your rate today by contacting a CalCas insurance agent at 1.866.704.8614 or get a free quote online at mycalcas.com/quote.

 

This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com.

Top 10 Car Seat Safety Mistakes

Top 10 Car Seat Safety Mistakes

Vehicle accidents are the number one cause of death for children between the ages 1 and 4. Your child’s best chance to come out of an accident unscathed is if they are in a car seat that has been installed correctly.

Here are the top car seat safety mistakes.

Price isn’t Everything, Especially when it comes to safety.  When it comes to purchasing car seats, the more expensive doesn’t necessarily mean “safer”. There are car seats for every budget. A lot of that extra cost could just be additional features, easy to use, or brand popularity.  Find compare and rate car seats using the  NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) car seat finder here. So what’s the determining factor on which seat to get? Get the one that has the best rating that fits your budget, vehicle, can be properly installed and used.

Your Child is Too Big for the Seat.  You bring your new bundle of joy home in the infant seat, they grow quickly, when do you move up to the next size. Sometimes it might be easy to judge if they outgrow the seat. When they pass the height or weight limits you will need to change seats to accommodate these new changes. You can check the manufacturer’s site for specifics on whether your car seat is still a good fit. Or follow this guide.

Moving to a forward-facing or booster seat too soon.  The AAP policy says it’s best to keep kids rear-facing until they turn 2 or meet the maximum height and weight for the seat. Studies say that children under 2 are less likely to be severely injured (or worse) if they are riding rear-facing. Newer car seats are equipped with higher height and weight limits to help encourage rear-facing.  But, just because the child meets the minimum weight requirement for a booster seat does not mean they are ready to move up. It comes down to if they can sit correctly in the seat and maintain proper belt positions at all times.

More is not merrier in this case.  Do not use both LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) and the safety belt, use the incorrect LATCH anchors, or use a LATCH past its weight limit. What you need to use will depend on your car and the type of seat. One or the other may be the best option, but you shouldn’t need to use both. Double-check your car seat manual to make sure you’re using the correct anchors. You should also note that the lower anchors have weight limits, so you have to switch to vehicle seat belt installation if/when the weight your child + car seat exceeds 65lbs.

Used Seat = Better Deal.  Expiration dates, prior accidents, cleanliness- there are all sorts of reasons why to purchase a new seat instead of buying a used one. If you are tight on money, research and see which local organizations offer inexpensive options. You’re carrying precious cargo remember, don’t skip the small stuff!

Taking kids out of car seats too soon.  When does a child get to ride like a normal passenger? Great question!  When the child can sit all the way back with knees bent over the edge of the seat with their seatbelt properly across the shoulder and the thighs. They need to be able to maintain this position throughout the ride, even if asleep. Check your state requirements, most require the use of a booster through age 8 or 9 (or once they hit a certain height or weight requirement).

Incorrect use of the chest clip.  Don’t brush this piece off. It’s actually a crucial feature to the seat, that could end up saving your child’s life. The clip holds the straps so that if an accident happens, the straps will remain secure on the child’s shoulders, allowing full protection from the seat. A clip in the wrong spot could result in ejection, internal injuries, or even death. 

Straps need to be snug.  One rule to remember: if you can pinch excess strap between your fingers, or if the straps are twisted or gaping, they are too loose. The child’s clothes should never be buckled in while wearing them. You may think it adds “padding” but in an accident, it will compress and leave space that could cause injury.

Wrong harness slot.  The manual for the car seat will be specific to your exact seat, but usually, placement depends on the direction the seat is facing. Rear-facing: straps should thread into harness slot at or below the shoulders. Forward-facing: straps should thread into harness slot at or above the shoulders.

It’s ONLY a car seat.  Car accidents are the leading cause of death for children. Car seats save lives.

Take the time to properly install your car seat before use and have it inspected by a certified technician for assurance.

Again, your child is precious cargo, take precautionary measures now before you could regret it later.

 

This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com.

Top 6 Websites Offering Free Leveled Reading Passages

Top 6 Websites Offering Free Leveled Reading Passages

Our Education Blogger is a public school teacher with over a decade of experience. She’s an active NEA member and enjoys writing about her experiences in the classroom.

Struggling to find quality, leveled reading passages for your students? Look no further! We’re sharing our favorite websites that offer free, high-quality, leveled reading passages. language arts

reading skills

Top 6 Websites Offering Free Leveled Reading Passages

 

CommonLit.org

CommonLit delivers high-quality, free instructional materials to support literacy development for students in grades 5-12. Our resources are flexible, research-based, aligned to the Common Core State Standards, created by teachers for teachers. We believe in the transformative power of a great text, and a great question.

ReadWorks.org

The nonprofit ReadWorks provides K-12 teachers with what to teach and how to teach it—online, for free, to be shared broadly. We provide the largest, highest-quality library of curated nonfiction and literary articles in the country, along with reading comprehension and vocabulary lessons, formative assessments, and teacher guidance. Most importantly, everything ReadWorks does is based on proven cognitive science research, not unproven academic theory.

ReadingVine.com

Free grade leveled reading passages for use in the classroom or at home. Filter by genre, grade, topic, skill, and more.

K5Learning.com

Free reading comprehension worksheets for grades 1-5. Use these free, printable worksheets to practice and improve reading comprehension, vocabulary and writing. Each reading passage is followed by exercises which for younger students focus on recalling information directly from the text and for older students focus on prediction, inference and character traits.

LearnZillion.com

Browse 5-day close reading modules, as well as text-based reading and writing skill videos, for free!

TweenTribune.com

A free teacher tool from Smithsonian Teacher, offering daily AP news articles, Lexile® leveled for K-12, self-scoring quizzes customized by Lexile® level, critical thinking questions, student commenting, Espanol AP articles, weekly lesson plans, weekly video, and weekend “Monday Morning Ready” newsletter as prep for the week ahead.

 

Have a reading passage, but aren’t sure what its Lexile level is? Try Lexile Analyzer to evaluate any passage. Registered educators (it’s free for you!) have a 1,000-word limit.

 

We’d love to hear from you! In the comment section below, let us know your favorite sites to find leveled reading passages

 

This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com.

 

 

Surviving Extreme Heat, Heat Exhaustion, & More

Surviving Extreme Heat, Heat Exhaustion, & More

It’s summertime and temperatures are quickly on the rise!

Extreme heat is more than an inconvenience though; it is a health hazard. It’s extremely important that we do all that we can to avoid overheating and that we all know the symptoms of heat-related illnesses like:

Heat Cramps

These are muscular pain or spasms in the leg or abdomen – often the first sign of trouble. Getting a person to a cooler place and hydrating them with water or sports drinks usually alleviates them.

 

Heat Exhaustion

This is much more severe with symptoms of:

    • Cool moist pale, ashen or flushed skin
    • Headache
    • Dizziness
    • Nausea
    • Weakness
    • Exhaustion

Treatment includes moving to a cooler place with circulating air, remove or loosen clothing and apply cool, wet cloths or towels to the skin. Spraying a person with water helps as well as giving small amounts of fluids such as water, fruit juice, milk or sports drinks. If symptoms persist, call medical help immediately

 

Heat Stroke

This is a life-threatening condition. Symptoms include high body temperature (above 103 degrees); hot, red skin; rapid and strong pulse; confusion, and possible unconsciousness. Immediately:

    • Call 911
    • Move the person to a cooler place
    • Cool them with water by immersing them or spraying them
    • Cover them with ice packs or bags of ice

Children and Pets are at Risk

Don’t forget your precious cargo when the weather heats up. We think that it will never happen to our families, unfortunately, each year an average of 37 children and many hundreds of pets die from being left in hot cars. The majority is the result of a parent or caregiver who forgot the child or pet was in the vehicle. Even on a 70-degree day, the inside temperature can climb to a dangerous 110 degrees.

New technology and apps are being developed to warn parents of a child left in a car or truck, and the 2017 GMC Acadia will be the first vehicle with a built-in sensor that alerts drivers to check the back seat for children or pets left in the car. Until these are tested and more readily available, safety groups have mounted campaigns to prevent child heatstroke danger with these warning tips:

    • Never leave a child or pet in an unattended vehicle
    • Keep vehicles locked so children can’t climb in
    • Always check the back seat before leaving the vehicle
    • Place a stuffed toy in the car seat when it’s unoccupied and move it to the front seat as a visible reminder when you put a child in the seat
    • Put a purse, briefcase or other important items in the back seat with your infant or young child
    • Alert childcare facilities to notify you if your child fails to show up
    • Call 911 if you see a child alone in a vehicle and take action if you see they are in distress or unresponsive (break a window and remove them to a cool place and wait for emergency responders)

Personal Safety

When extremely hot weather hits, these are things you can do to alleviate the danger:

    • Drink plenty of water and rehydrating sports drinks
    • Avoid strenuous work during the heat of the day
    • Dress in loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothing
    • Stay indoors as much as possible
    • Never leave children or pets in a vehicle
    • Go to a basement or lowest floor of a house or building if there is no air conditioning
    • Consider spending the warmest part of the day in cool public buildings such as libraries, schools, movie theaters, malls, and other community facilities
    • Spend time at a community pool or water park
    • Check on family, friends, and neighbors (especially the very young or old) who do not have air conditioning

Home Prep

Ready.gov has an extensive list of recommendations to help keep your home cool when the temperature rises:

    • Install window air conditioners snugly and insulate them
    • Check air conditioning ducts for proper insulation
    • Install temporary window reflectors (such as aluminum foil-covered cardboard) to reflect heat back outside
    • Cover windows that receive direct sunlight with drapes, shades, awnings or louvers
    • Keep storm windows up

Automobile Prep

Your car takes a beating in extreme heat. It’s a good reminder to:

    • Test your battery
    • Check your fluids – oil, coolant, and wiper fluid
    • Get your air conditioning serviced
    • Inspect all hoses and belts for cracks or tears
    • Carry extra water or coolant

 

 

This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to teachers, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.800.800.9410 or www.calcas.com.

8 Easy Summer Fitness Tips for Educators

8 Easy Summer Fitness Tips for Educators

Our Education Blogger is a public school teacher with over a decade of experience. She’s an active NEA member, and enjoys writing about her experiences in the classroom.

 

For many teachers, summer is the time to complete projects you’ve been putting off during the school year. Exercise tends to be one of those projects…

But the summertime is a great opportunity to begin building workout habits! You don’t have to own a Peloton or do 75 Hard to get into shape, the following can help get you started with an easy summer exercise routine and transition into much healthier habits leading into the next school year.

Use A Fitness App
I like Map My Run and My Fitness Pal.  I can log workouts, track how far I run (along with some other stats), and count calories from food.  Couch to 5K is also another free, popular app that helps you progress your way to a 5K in 8 weeks.  Check out this list of The 38 Best Health and Fitness Apps from Greatest.com to see if you can find an app that works for you!

Start Small
If exercise isn’t part of your regular routine, start with just 2 or 3 days a week.  From there, add on days as you feel more comfortable.  You can also up the intensity of your workouts.

Keep A Routine
Find a time and day that works for you and commit to it.  You are more likely to stick with something if you make it a part of your routine.

Exercise With A Buddy or Group
If you are able, find a friend or a group of friends with whom you can work out.  You can hold one another accountable if you commit to group workouts.   When you skip out on a workout, there’s an element of guilt added in, which makes you more likely to stick with it.

Mix It Up
For me, one type of exercise becomes boring.  To combat the monotony, I use different types of exercise. Yoga, kickboxing, cardio, dance, etc., are all great ways to mix up the workout routine.  You can find videos online for just about any kind of workout!

Set A Goal
What is your fitness goal?  Is it to lose weight, build muscle tone, run a marathon?  Establish your goal, write it on a sticky note, and place the note in a visible place you will see each day.  Use an “I will” statement and have an end date.  For example, “I will lose 10 pounds by July 31st.”  It is also helpful to decide HOW you will meet your goal.  Will you run for 20 minutes 3 times a week?  Lift weights every day?

Motivate Yourself
Take selfies.  I know.  I hate this part.  If you take pictures of yourself regularly, you should be able to see the changes in your body as you progress towards your goal.  Hopefully, these pictures will motivate you to keep going.  Positive self-talk is also beneficial.  Again, use your sticky notes to write positive affirmations to place in a visible location (“I can do this!” or “I am strong!”).  This may be cheesy, but it has a surprisingly positive effect!

Tell Your Family/Partner
Your partner or family is a great source of support and encouragement.  Tell them your fitness goals and plan. They can help motivate you and hold you accountable (if you choose).

 

What summer fitness activities or advice do you find works best for you?

 

This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to teachers, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.800.800.9410 or www.calcas.com.

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