In many areas, the weather has been pretty good so far this year. But, this week started a flurry (pun intended) of winter weather, and I thought it would be a good time to recap some important safety tips for cold weather!
Along with hay rides, cooling temperatures, and brilliant foliage, Fall can bring some unexpected dangers to your commute. In late October and November, states across the nation see the fall mating season for white-tailed deer begin.
With this comes significant danger to drivers. During this time, deer become very active and unpredictable, covering large areas in search of a mate. A result of this is that drivers will often see groups of deer crossing roads.
This generates tens of thousands of deer-vehicle crashes every year, resulting in millions of dollars in damage. To help prevent this happening to you, please review the tips below:
If you spot a deer, slow down and pay attention to possible sudden movement. If the deer doesn’t move, don’t go around it. Wait for the deer to pass and the road is clear.
Pay attention to “Deer Crossing” signs. They are there for a reason. Slow down when traveling through areas known to have a high concentration of deer so you will have ample time to stop if necessary.
If you are traveling after dark, use high beams when there is no oncoming traffic. High beams will be reflected by the eyes of deer on or near roads.
If you see one deer, be on guard: others may be in the area. Deer typically move in family groups at this time of year and cross roads single-file.
Don’t tailgate. Remember: the driver in front of you might have to stop suddenly to avoid hitting a deer.
Always wear a seatbelt, as required by law. Drive at a safe and sensible speed, taking into account weather, available lighting, traffic, curves and other road conditions.
If a collision appears inevitable, do not swerve to avoid impact. The deer may counter-maneuver suddenly. Brake firmly, but stay in your lane. Collisions are more likely to become fatal when a driver swerves to avoid a deer and instead collides with oncoming traffic or a fixed structure along the road.
Report any deer-vehicle collision to a local law enforcement agency immediately.
We are in the height of prom season, with high school graduations right around the corner. This means that the chances of teens being involved in serious auto accidents increases significantly. Our friends at Impact Teen Drivers have been working tirelessly to raise awareness of the dangers that face teens who drive distracted or impaired, and to help shed light on some of these startling statistics, we want to share them here as well:
– Teen driver crashes are the leading cause of death for our nation’s youth
– The Fatality rate for drivers 16-19 is 4 times higher than the national average
– 48% of teens have reported talking on a cell phone while driving
It’s no secret that driving while talking on a cell phone or impaired by drugs or alcohol dramatically increases the risk of injury and death while driving. Please speak with your teens about the dangers involved – especially during this time of year, when the excitement of prom and graduations can lead to them making poor driving decisions.
As weather forecasters are predicting an active few weeks for tornado activity, the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) encourages homeowners and renters to take appropriate steps to be prepared, which includes a review of their insurance policies and discussion of coverage options with their insurance agent or company.
“With wind speeds that can reach nearly 300 miles per hour, tornadoes can be deadly and cause severe property damage,” said Donald Griffin, vice president personal lines for PCI. “Because tornadoes can occur rapidly and with little warning, advanced preparation is very important. We encourage consumers to know the warning signals used in their community and be prepared to take cover when alerted. Maintaining an emergency storm kit with a radio, flashlight, batteries and first-aid items is the first step in preparation. Other steps include conducting tornado drills with your family and ensuring that your property is adequately insured.”
The peak of tornado season in the U.S. varies by geographic region beginning in southern states during the months of March and April. Peak tornado season for the southern plains occurs during May and June and typically takes place during June and July in the Midwest and northern plains. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Climatic Data Center there were over 1,400 tornadoes in 2010. The highest concentrations of tornado reports were clustered in the Front Range of the Rockies, the Southeast, the Central and Northern Plains, and the Great Lakes. The largest outbreak of tornadoes for 2010 occurred on June 17th, there were at least 74 confirmed tornadoes reported across the Upper Midwest and Northern Plains.
Most tornado, windstorm, hail and similar severe weather-related losses are covered by either homeowners or renters insurance policies. Tornado losses to a home are covered by the “windstorm” peril under the homeowners insurance policy. Renters insurance also provides coverage to policyholder possessions under this peril. Protection from windstorm or hail damage for cars is covered under the “comprehensive” portion of the automobile insurance policy.
PCI pre-storm tips:
– Conduct a detailed inventory of your possessions including receipts, descriptions and photos of your home’s contents.
– Keep your insurance policy and CalCas Claims information along with other important information with you or in a secure place.
– Keep a cell phone charged and with you for emergencies.
– If you have one, keep a laptop computer close by. Most insurance companies allow claims reports to be submitted via the Internet.
If you experienced a loss from the storms:
– Immediately contact your insurance agent or company representative
– Inspect property and cars for damage
– Inventory losses and photograph damage, and save related receipts to assist with claims handling
– Secure property from further damage or theft
– Check the background and legitimacy of repair contractors. Ask your insurance company for assistance in locating a reputable contractor.
As always, we hope you never have to call to report a tornado related claim, but it pays to be prepared!
recently received an email from a co-worker that discussed some unique tips for safe driving in rainy weather. Spring is nearly upon us, and with it comes strong storms and heavy rains. Since we can’t always avoid getting out in the rain, I wanted to share a few interesting tips with you. If you try them out, please come back and let me know what you think!
1) If it’s raining heavily during the day, see how your vision can be improved by putting on your sunglasses. It will help cut down on the glare from the rain and “kickup” from other cars. Many people find that this is a very effective method to improve visibility in the rain.
2) Never use your cruise control in the rain. If you car begins to hydroplane while the cruise control is on, it can accelerate quickly if the tires lose contact with the road, resulting in a loss of control.
Two safety items I wasn’t aware of until today – please share them, who knows, you may save a life!
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