Tag Archives: Safety Tips

5 Tips to Help Keep Your Teen Safe On the Road

Getting a license is one of life’s major milestones. There’s no doubt that FINALLY being able to drive on your own is something every teen cannot wait to do. But how sure are you that your young driver is ready to take on the road all on their own? We look for the best car seat, the best daycare, but when your kids are ready to learn to drive, parents should help them the best drivers they can be. Safe driving is really about judgment. At the start of their driving career risk management and decision making while driving has not developed yet. Your teens biggest threat is their inexperience.

Did you know that the #1 threat to your teen’s safety is driving or riding in a car with another teen driver? (cdc.gov).

Here are 5 tips to help keep your teen safe on the road:

  1. Utilize the Graduated Driver License (GDL) Program– this gives a driver the opportunity to improve their driving skills over time. Phase One is the learners permit. Which must be held for 6 months prior to obtaining a provisional license. Phase Two is the provisional license. Drivers education and time behind the wheel are required prior to taking the driver’s test. Once these are completed a driver can graduate with a provisional license. At this stage, drivers are allowed one passenger under 21 who is not a family member in the vehicle and must be off the road between midnight and 5:00 a.m. unless certain circumstances. Individuals under 18 are restricted from using a cell phone including hands-free devices until they reach 18. The graduate program is required by law for drivers under the age of 18. To get all the details on the program click here.
  2. Let Your Teen Drive– the best thing you can do for your teen is let them drive! Young drivers need to gain confidence behind the wheel. This is the perfect opportunity to discuss different driving scenarios and to pass on your driving knowledge. Practice driving in different weather conditions in large parking lots to get a feel for driving in rain or snow. Parents play a key role. When asked whose opinion they listen to, teens mostly said their parents. The biggest challenges are inexperience and distractions.
  3. Set Rules and Expectations– from the get-go your teen needs to know that you want them to the safest driver they can be. Sit down together and set some ground rules and expectations. For example, no cell phone use while driving, no food in the car, no passengers for a certain period of time, setting a driving curfew, always wear a seatbelt, no reckless driving, and no impaired driving. Being involved in their driving development holds your child accountable. When they show progress, good skill and driving maturity certain privileges can be added over time.
  4. Set Up Consequences– Your teen needs to understand that driving is a privilege. Go over the rules and expectations together. Write them down and set up consequences. Your teen will respect the rules and expectations when they know they are being monitored and there are consequences. As parents, it’s important to show your teen you care about their safety. Lose of driving privileges is a big one. Come home after curfew and you lose the right to drive. Whatever the consequences are, stick to them.
  5. Be an example, set up an agreement and be open– the best thing we can do for our new drivers is be the best example. Kids learn from their parents. Set up an agreement with the expectations and consequences. Refer and adjust it when necessary. Kids understand that there is a major risk when driving a vehicle. The challenge is when they are at the moment they may make the wrong decision. Be open and transparent with them, ask them their fears. Help them practice their driving even after graduating periodically. Copy of an agreement can be found here.

Parents play a key role in their child’s driving progress. Overall, showing you care, offering them guidance, listening to their concerns, setting expectations and being authoritative can be the difference in life and death. Progressively give them privileges as they show they can handle the responsibilities. Your teen will feel more confident behind the wheel and in return be a safe driver. For more details on how to be the key in your teens driving visit https://www.cdc.gov/parentsarethekey/

Visit us online at thanksal.com or gives us a call at 1-800-thanksal to see what kind of safe teen driver discounts we offer.

 

5 Ways to Prevent Home Burglaries

Home invasions are a very serious issue that every homeowner faces. Statistics show that around 2 million homes succumb to home invasions every year, which is cause for concern. Thankfully, it’s national crime prevention week, and we’re here to help prevent our readers becoming victims of burglary. Here are the top 5 ways to prevent break-ins!

Clear Your Yard – A lot of people tend to leave their possessions out in the yard or in their driveways, such as bikes, lawn equipment or boxes from recently purchased items. This tends to grab the attention of potential thieves and can give them extra motivation to see what other nice things you have in your home. Make sure you put everything away after you’re finished using it to prevent this from happening!

Lock It Down – This may seem like a no-brainer, but with our hectic busy schedules these days, it’s easy for us to forget to lock a door or turn on an alarm. Studies show that 40 percent of home invasions actually occur through an unlocked door or window, so it still remains a common means of entry. Make sure you double-check every door before you leave and even look into installing stronger locks to ensure extra protection.

Don’t Leave a Spare – Homeowners love to leave spare keys under mats or flowerpots in case of emergencies. However, this is a very risky move, because that’s likely the first thing a burglar will check upon invading your premises. All it takes is for someone to watch you retrieve the key and they have easy access to your home next time you’re away.

Neighborly Help – For some reason, people don’t interact and spend time with their neighbors as much as they used to. Having a tight-knit neighborhood is a key factor in preventing home invasions. For one, you know everyone’s face so strangers stick out more and it can lead to neighborhood watch programs, which can be extremely efficient at preventing crime.

Lights & Other Tricks – While you’re out at work or running errands, it’s a smart move to turn on lights or a television set in order to create the illusion that someone’s home. Invest in some fluorescent bulbs to save money on electricity for this tactic. Also, you can purchase and display certain home security signs, such as “Beware of Dog” or “24 Hour Surveillance” that will make burglars think twice about breaking in.

Before putting these helpful tips to good use, make sure that all of your insurance needs are up-to-date. Give us a call at 1-800-Thanks-Al to have an agent review your policy to confirm that your auto insurance has the right amount of coverage for your family and your needs. We can also ensure that you are getting the best rate for your policy. You might even qualify for additional discounts, especially if you have your home insured through us!

5 Safety Tips for Driving at Night

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We’re a little over a month into the end of day light savings and it’s fair to say that most people are still trying to adjust to the time change. No matter how well or how safe you think you can drive, driving at nighttime always poses many challenges. Because of this, it’s a good idea to keep some safety tips in mind to make sure that you avoid any mistakes that can lead to an accident. Here are 5 tips for safely driving at night!

Stay Awake – This may be a very obvious tip, but you’d be surprised at how many people think they’re good to drive and then end up falling asleep at the wheel. Sitting still in dark environments naturally makes us sleepy, so it’s important to keep your mind moving to prevent dozing off. You can do this by chewing gum or ice, opening your windows or singing along to a great track on the radio.

Make Good Use of Headlights – This is another obvious, but vital point that ensures your safety while driving at night. Do whatever is necessary to make sure your headlights are operating efficiently. Replace your bulbs, clean them and test their levels so that you can see the road in front of you as well as all of the other drivers around you.

Keep Your Distance – Try to avoid tailgating the car in front of you as much as possible while driving at night. Depending on how close you are, your headlights could serve as a distraction to the driver in front of you and may blind their mirrors. Also, your visibility is lessened during the nighttime even with headlights, so it’s better to regulate your speed and drive defensively, so you’re ready for a quick reaction.

Stay Alert – Distractions pose a serious threat to your safety during the day and it’s only intensified at night. Make sure that you stay off your cell phone and give the road and other drivers your full undivided attention. With your visibility impaired, your chance of having an accident with your eyes off of the road is increased substantially at night.

Check and Use Signals – Signal and break lights are a key component to notify other drivers of your actions at night. Without them, they won’t know when you’re stopping or turning in the pitch black of night. Inspect your lights to make sure that they’re all working properly so that you can avoid any incident down the line.

The holidays are a great time to make sure that all of your insurance needs are up-to-date. Give us a call at 1-800-Thanks Al to have an agent make sure that your auto insurance has the right amount of coverage for your family and your needs. We can also ensure that you are getting the best rate for your policy. You might even qualify for additional discounts, especially if you have your home insurance with us.

We hope that these tips find you well and keep you safe during the upcoming months!

5 Driving Safety Tips for Fall

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Goodbye summer, hello fall!

As we usher in this magical new season, there are many things to be excited about. The holidays are quickly approaching, the weather is getting cooler and it gives us all an excuse to dive into a pile of leaves. However, with all of the great things the fall season gives us, there are also some things we must be aware of and adjust to. Road conditions will drastically alter during this time and it’s important to make sure you understand how to adapt to these new changes. Here are the top 5 driving safety tips for fall!

Sun Glare – The autumnal equinox occurs during this season, which means that sun glare at sunrise and sunset will be intensified. This can blind your line of vision for a second or two, making it hard to see traffic, pedestrians, and other obstacles. To combat this, make sure that you have a pair of sunglasses in your car at all times or invest in some tint for your windshield.

Leaf Hazards – Although leaves can look beautiful during this time, they can also turn out to be very dangerous. They can hide traffic lines, potholes, and other road hazards, so make sure that the road has your undivided attention. Also, be aware of your break pressure because stopping on wet leaves can have the same sliding effect as ice.

Daylight Saving Time – There’s nothing quite stranger than leaving the office and it’s pitch black outside. Thanks to the time change, you will see less sunlight during the day, which will make it harder to see pedestrians and other drivers. Make sure that all of your headlights are functioning properly and know the appropriate times when to turn them on.

Heavy Precipitation – Rain, fog and frost are pretty prevalent weather conditions in the fall, so be on alert for these impending changes. Once the temperature drops, make sure that you’re on high alert for morning frost and icy spots on the road. Also, if you wake up to a foggy morning, make sure that you stick with your low beams and avoid using high beams. This will cause a disturbance in visibility by bouncing off of the fog and creating glare.

Deer & Other Animals – If you live in an area with a lot of wildlife activity, then you’ll probably see an increase of deer on the roads. The fall is also their mating and migrating season, so be on the lookout for any stray deer while on your drive – especially at night.

With the change of seasons, it’s also a great time to make sure that all of your insurance needs are up-to-date.  Give us a call at 1-800-Thanks Al to have an agent make sure that your auto insurance has the right amount of coverage for your family and your needs.  We can also make sure that you are getting the best rate for your policy.  You might even qualify for additional discounts, especially if you have your home insurance with us.

We hope that these tips find you well and keep you safe during the upcoming months!

5 Tips for Driving Safely in the Rain

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Fall is a wonderful time for family, holidays, and football; however, there are also some downsides during this period. Torrential rains and other forms of precipitation frequently transpire, which can be a cause of concern when you’re out on the road. It’s important to be prepared in case this severe weather strikes to avoid any property damage or injury. Here are five tips for driving in stormy weather!

Prepare Your Car – Since your vehicle has just endured the summer conditions, it’s time to make some adjustments for the nastier fall weather. Make sure that your windshield wipers are in pristine condition and that your tires and breaks are functioning properly. You may also want to replace your light bulbs and clean your headlights so that other drivers can see your vehicle in fog and thick rain.

Be Aware of Your Surroundings – Rainy weather changes everything on the road, which is why it’s important that you adjust to a change in driving patterns. Be aware of larger vehicles on the road and keep an extra 5-foot distance between you and the car in front of you so that you have more time to react to traffic. Always avoid breaking on wet leaves and be on the lookout for large puddles, along with other wet surfaces.

Adjust Your Driving – When it rains, the water mixes with the oil and grease infused in the streets and creates a very slippery surface. Because of this, it’s important to lower your speed and refrain from slamming on your breaks. This can cause your car to hydroplane and spin out of control, which can lead to a serious accident. Hydroplaning is very common even among safe drivers, so it’s important to remain calm and know how to handle the situation. If you find yourself hydroplaning, remember to gently ease your foot off of the gas and turn your steering wheel in the direction you want the car to go.

Pull Over – If the rainfall gets to a point where it’s virtually impossible to see what’s in front of you, then the best solution is to pull over to the side of the road and wait it out. Call your boss or whomever you’re meeting with and inform them of the situation – they will most certainly understand. Rushing to get somewhere on time in horrible weather is not worth risking your life.

Turn Around, Don’t Drown! – Contrary to popular belief, cars do not float, which is why you need to be aware of any signs of flooded areas. Driving into flooded areas can be dangerous and even deadly, so be smart and turn around – even if you’re not sure how deep the water is. Take our advice and don’t let your car get washed away!

With the change of seasons, it’s also a great time to make sure that all of your insurance needs are up-to-date. Give us a call at 1-800-Thanks-Al to have an agent make sure that your auto insurance has the right amount of coverage for your family and your needs. We can also ensure that you are getting the best rate for your policy. You might even qualify for additional discounts, especially if you have your home insurance with us.

From all of us at Al Boenker Insurance, we hope that these tips find you well and keep you safe during the upcoming months!