11 Safe Driving Tips to Keep YOUR Family Safe

With the streets and highways of our great nation being so busy, there is never a bad time to refresh your driving safety! Being an attentive, safe driver is important for yourself, your loved ones and everyone on the road. Here are 11 safe driving tips from Stromsoe Insurance Agency to help you get home safely.

Tip #1: Don’t Drive Under the Influence

It is not a smart idea to drink and drive. When you drive while inebriated, you not only endanger yourself and everyone else in the car with you, but you also endanger anyone else on the road. Driving under the influence puts not just your life and the lives of those around you in danger, but it also puts you at risk of severe penalties for first-time offenders.

  • You could go to jail.
  • You car can be impounded.
  • Your driver’s license can be revoked.
  • You may have to do community service.
  • A judge could make you attend substance abuse classes at your own expense.
  • The monetary cost of a DUI conviction can cost thousands of dollars in fines and legal expenses.

Tip #2: Obey the Speed Limit

Public streets and highways are not the safest places to put your racing skills to the test. If you have a straight path ahead of you, stick to the speed limit. Excessive speeding is one of the leading causes of road accidents today.

Tip #3: Don’t Text While Driving

In the long list of things that can distract you when driving, texting is at the top. The FCC has some astounding figures on the dangers of texting while driving. An amazing 40% of American teenagers say that they have been in a moving vehicle while the driver used a cell phone. According to the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, your chance of getting in a crash is increased by 23 times while texting and driving. In addition, 11% of drivers from the ages of 18 to 20 years old whom were involved in an traffic accident admit that they were sending or receiving text messages when they crashed.

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As of December 2015, text messaging while driving is banned in 46 states as well as the District of Columbia. Distracted driving is one of the top contributors to vehicle-related fatalities. According to the the National Safety Council and their annual report on unintentional injuries, the three biggest contributors to fatalities on the road are alcohol(30.8%), speeding (30%), and distracted driving (26%).

Tip #4: Wear Your Seatbelt

The first thing you can do to stay safe when you get into your car is fasten your seat belt. Okay, this one should go without saying, but we all still see a lot of people who don’t do it. Wearing a seat belt when driving an automobile is now mandated by law in most states. The purpose of your seat belt is to keep you from receiving a traumatic head injury. By not wearing your seat belt, you are leaving yourself open to the possibility of slamming into your windshield or sailing straight through the windshield altogether in the event of a crash.

Tip #5: Clean Your Windshield

You ever see those cars going down the road on a cold morning with just a little circle about the size of your fist cleared off for them to see through? Allow your vehicle to warm up and defrost your windows during the colder months. It should go without saying that if you can’t see, you can’t drive, so take a few extra minutes to clean your windshield. If your windshield is dirty, the sun’s glare would be magnified, potentially blinding you. This is particularly true at dawn and dusk.

Tip #6: Be Sure Your Mirrors are Adjusted Properly

Many drivers fail to use their vehicle’s mirrors correctly because they are not properly positioned, making this an important step in following safe driving tips. There is a precise location in which the interior and exterior rear-view mirrors should be aligned to either eliminate or minimize blind spots. The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) states that your outside mirrors should be adjusted outward far enough that they will slightly overlap the viewing area of your interior rear-view mirror.

Tip #7: Look Far Ahead When Driving

Don’t gaze directly ahead of you. If you don’t see a danger in the road ahead of you, you can not have enough time to respond if you don’t see it first. Keep a half-mile to a mile ahead of you in mind when scanning the lane. Since your peripheral vision works best at close ranges, keep your eyes going and searching the whole field in front of you at all times.

Tip #8: Position Your Headrest Correctly

Although you may no longer hold gloves in your glove box, your headrest was still built with a particular function in mind. A correctly positioned headrest can reduce painful whiplash in the event of a rear-end collision. Furthermore, you should never remove the headrests from your car to boost your visibility.

Tip #9: Avoid the NO-Zone

Safe driving tips wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the largest vehicles on the road. The NO-Zone applies to larger vehicles such as trucks and buses. Some drivers are unable to see certain areas close to them due to their elevated location. If you’re driving behind one of these and can’t see the truck driver’s mirrors, you can bet they can’t see you either. You should also be mindful of a large blind spot in front of large trucks and buses. If you’re passing them or traveling in front of them, stay out of this area, be sure that you can see the entire front of the vehicle in your review mirror.

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Tip #10: Avoid Driving When You Are Tired

When you are driving fatigue can sneak up on you easily. If you find that you are falling asleep behind the wheel, there are a number of things you can do to stay safe.

  • Make a pit stop for coffee
  • Pull over into a safe parking space and take a 20 to 45-minute nap
  • Roll down your windows all the way
  • Play loud music
  • Talk to your passenger (If you don’t have one, talk to yourself, no one will know)

Tip #11: Always Drive With Your Headlights On

“I didn’t even see them.”  This is what many motorists will say when recalling an accident they were part of.   Motorcycles are required by law to always have their headlight on while in operation for exactly this reason. Vehicles with their headlights turned on are visible at nearly four times the distance of those with them off.

Other Safe Driving Habits

Beyond safe driving tips, you should still be prepared in the event something happens while on the road. The risks of life are around all of us every day. Constant diligence to make sure you have the right insurance protection in place is a must. Please make sure to keep in touch with your local independent insurance agent often to make sure you and your loved ones are always properly protected.

 

Questions? Want to learn more? Here’s 4 easy ways to reach us:

Phone: 877-994-6787
Email: insure@siaonline.com
Text: 951-482-8144
Web: www.siaonline.com

PS Here’s a few words from one client that trusts Stromsoe Insurance Agency:

“Arranging for new car insurance was easy as faxing the sales receipt directly from the dealership to the office. Thanks for the personal service and prompt attention.”
Bob and Sarah Sandor – Fallbrook, CA – Client Since 2000

PPS Every policy is backed by our iron clad, 100% complete satisfaction guarantee. Ask for your copy today!

Teach Your Teen These Driving Safety Lessons

Make sure your teen stays safe behind the wheel.

If your teen is learning how to drive, then their safety should always be your main priority.  When it comes to driving safety, it’s important that you start with the basics.  Here are some of the things that you should teach your teen to help them become safe and responsible drivers.

  • Avoid Driving with Passengers

For an inexperienced driver, having a lot of passengers in the car can be extremely overwhelming and can distract them from driving safely.  To ensure that your child does not put themselves and their friends at risk, place restrictions on who and how many people they can drive around.

  • Stay Vigilant

Many drivers, not just teens, become less vigilant as they get more comfortable behind the wheel.  However, failing to scan your area, use your mirrors, and check your blind spots could mean missing a serious driving hazard.  When teaching your teen how to drive, show them how to stay vigilant when they are changing lanes, turning, and even when stopped.

  • Do Not Drive While Tired or Distracted

While you might not give it a second thought, driving while sleepy or distracted is just as dangerous as driving while under the influence of alcohol.  To ensure that your child does not put themselves and others at risk, teach them to never drive while sleepy, emotionally compromised, or otherwise distracted.

Teach your teen these lessons to help them become safe drivers.  Want another way to keep your teen safe behind the wheel?  Then make sure you have the right auto insurance protection at the best price by giving our knowledgeable Total Protection Team a call at 951-600-5751, sending an email to insure@siaonline.com, or stopping by our Murrieta, California office today.  We are always happy to help!

The Top 10 Most Commonly Stolen Cars in the U.S.

Are car thieves targeting your vehicle?

If you are like most car owners, the idea of having your vehicle stolen is a truly nightmarish scenario. Unfortunately, car theft is one of the most common crimes across the country. In fact, in 2017 alone there were 773,139 reported incidents of car theft, totaling approximately $6 billion in losses. With car theft such a common occurrence, you might be feeling worried about your own risk. Unfortunately, if your car is on the following list of the most commonly stolen cars in the U.S., your risk is even higher.

1) Honda Civic

  • Model Year Most Stolen (Number of Thefts): 1998 (6,707)
  • Total Number of Model Thefts: 45,062

2) Honda Accord

  • Model Year Most Stolen (Number of Thefts): 1997 (6,301)
  • Total Number of Model Thefts: 43,764

3) Ford Pickup (Full Size)

  • Model Year Most Stolen (Number of Thefts): 2006 (3,151)
  • Total Number of Model Thefts: 35,105

4) Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)

  • Model Year Most Stolen (Number of Thefts): 2004 (1,970)
  • Total Number of Model Thefts: 30,058

5) Toyota Camry

  • Model Year Most Stolen (Number of Thefts): 2017 (1,100)
  • Total Number of Model Thefts: 17,278

6) Nissan Altima

  • Model Year Most Stolen (Number of Thefts): 2016 (1,450)
  • Total Number of Model Thefts: 13,358

7) Toyota Corolla

  • Model Year Most Stolen (Number of Thefts): 2016 (1,012)
  • Total Number of Model Thefts: 12,337

8) Dodge Pickup (Full Size)

  • Model Year Most Stolen (Number of Thefts): 2001 (1,242)
  • Total Number of Model Thefts: 12,004

9) GMC Pickup (Full Size)

  • Model Year Most Stolen (Number of Thefts): 2017 (957)
  • Total Number of Model Thefts: 10,865

10) Chevrolet Impala

  • Model Year Most Stolen (Number of Thefts): 2008 (991)
  • Total Number of Model Thefts: 9,487

Did your car make the list?  If so, it’s important that you take the necessary precautions to protect against car theft.  One of the best ways to protect yourself financially is by securing the right auto insurance.  For assistance with all your car coverage needs, contact the experts at Stromsoe Insurance Agency in Murrieta, California today.

Halloween Home Safety Tips

Get your home ready for a safe Halloween night.

Halloween is right around the corner! As you and your family pick costumes and stock up on candy, it’s also important to prepare your home for all your Halloween visitors. Here are some of the things you should take care of leading up to and on Halloween night to keep your guests and your home safe.

Decoration Safety

When decorating your home, it’s important that you do not hang heavy decorations overhead. This is because these decorations could cause property damage or injuries if they were to fall. Additionally, it’s important that you do not decorate using real candles, not even in your jack-o-lanterns. Using real candles will increase your home’s chance for fire, and your guests’ chance for burns. Finally, make sure that you don’t leave small decorations on your lawn or walkways. These decorations could pose a tripping hazard for your Halloween visitors.

Preventing Vandalism

On Halloween night, there is an increased chance for vandalism and car theft. To reduce your risk of being targeted, leave your home’s external lights on all night. Vandals will be less likely to hit your home for fear of being spotted and caught. On Halloween night, you should also be sure to park your car in the garage and bring all your outdoor furniture inside. This will ensure that your belongings are not stolen or vandalized by Halloween pranksters.

Protecting Your Pets

Finally, you should also be sure to protect your furry friends this Halloween. To start, the constant arrival of visitors can cause your pets to become stressed, making them more likely to run away or act aggressively. For the safety of your pets and your visitors, consider keeping your pets in a secure location away from your front door. Additionally, make sure you don’t feed your pet any human Halloween treats. Many human foods (such as chocolate) are actually toxic to animals.

These are some of the suggestions you should try to keep your home and visitors safe this Halloween. Want another way to safeguard your home? Make sure you have the right homeowners insurance protections in place. For assistance with all your home coverage needs, contact the experts at Stromsoe Insurance Agency in Murrieta, California. We are ready to get you covered today.

Pool Safety Tips for Your Children

Keep your kids safe as they play in the pool.

Now that summer is here, your children are probably excited to cool off in the pool. While playing in the pool is certainly summer fun, it’s important to remember that pools can hold serious risks if you are not careful. If you want to protect your kids this summer, make sure you keep these pool safety tips in mind.

  • Never Leave a Child Unattended

You should never leave children unsupervised while they are in or near the water. When your kids are at the pool, you should make sure to keep a keen eye on them. You should not read, play on your phone, or do any other activities that might distract you from your task. Even if there is a lifeguard present at the pool, parents should still stay alert. Lifeguards are responsible for the safety of the entire pool, so there is a chance that they might miss signs of your child struggling.

  • Keep Your Child Away from Drains

When your child is swimming, you should warn them to stay away drains and suction outlets. Additionally, you should never let your child enter a pool or spa with a loose, broken, or missing drain cover. This is because your child’s limbs, hair, jewelry, or bathing suit can get stuck in a drain opening and pull them beneath the surface of the water. If your child is using a spa, make sure you know where the emergency vacuum shut off is located.

  • Install Safety Barriers

If you have a pool in your own backyard, then it’s important that you install a protective barrier around the perimeter of your pool. Pool safety experts recommend installing a 4 to 5-foot safety fence around your pool to keep children and pets from entering the water without supervision. Additionally, your fence should feature a self-closing, self-latching gate to prevent kids and pets from sneaking inside the barrier without you noticing.

These are some of the pool safety tips you should try this summer.  Looking for another way to protect the things and people you care about the most?  Then make sure you have the proper personal insurance protections in place.  For assistance with your coverage needs, contact the experts at Stromsoe Insurance Agency in Murrieta, California.  We are ready to get you the coverage that you need today.

Reduce Your Home’s Wildfire Risk

Take these precautions to reduce your home’s risk for wildfire.

If you live in an area prone to wildfire, then you know just how damaging these disasters can be. You probably also know that summer is considered wildfire season. Luckily, there are steps that you can take to reduce your home’s risk for wildfire damage this summer. Here are some of the precautions you should take this wildfire season.

Fireproof Your Roof

Embers from a wildfire can actually travel miles away from a fire. If your home’s roof is made of wood and one of these live embers comes into contact with it, your whole home can go up in flames. This is why it’s so important to fireproof your roof. The best way to do this is by replacing your roof’s wooden shingles with shingles made of asphalt, metal, tile, or other non-flammable materials.

Create Defensible Space

Defensible space refers to a buffer zone that separates your home from flammable landscaping and woodland areas. Creating defensible space around your home can help prevent a fire from spreading from your property to the actual structure of your home. To create defensible space, you should remove all flammable items (plants, dry brush, wood piles, etc.) within a 30-foot radius around your home.

Keep Embers Out

Your home is filled with flammable items from carpeting to wooden furniture to paper products of all kinds. If a live ember were to make it inside your home, your house could be ablaze in minutes. If there is a wildfire in the vicinity, it’s important that you seal up your home. Secure your home’s windows and doors, lock your doggy doors, and cover all external vents with a piece of 1/8-inch thick hardware cloth.

These are some of the precautions you should take to reduce your home’s risk for wildfire this summer.  Want another way to take care of your home this season?  Then make sure you have the right homeowners insurance protections in place.  For assistance with your coverage needs, contact the experts at Stromsoe Insurance Agency in Murrieta, California.  Our dedicated team is ready to get you the coverage that you need today.

Keep Your Home Safe from Burglars

Take these precautions to protect your home from a break-in this summer.

Did you know that the number of home break-ins increase during the summer months? Luckily, there are many things that you can do to protect your home against the risk of a burglary. Here are some of the precautions you should take around your home this summer.

Lock Your Windows and Doors

During the hot summer months, many people open their windows and doors in an attempt to catch a cool breeze. However, they often forget to secure their windows and doors before stepping out of their homes. This provides an easy point of entry for criminals. So, to protect your home from a break-in, simply make sure to lock up your windows and doors before leaving your home.

Invest in a Home Security System

Another great way to protect your home from intruders is by investing in a good home security system. A good security system will alert you and the authorities any time an unauthorized person attempts to enter your home. Additionally, because many security systems are equipped with camera capabilities, you can even use your security system to keep an eye on your home remotely.

Protect Your Belongings

If your best efforts cannot stop burglars from breaking in, there are still steps that you can take to protect your valuables from being stolen. Because most burglars are in a rush, they tend to grab whatever they can and run. By locking up or concealing things like cash, fine jewelry, electronics, and other valuable items, you can keep them out of the hands of criminals.

Take these precautions around your home to protect it from burglary this summer.  Want another way to keep your home safe?  Then make sure you have the right homeowners insurance protections in place.  To find the right policies to meet your needs, contact the experts at Stromsoe Insurance Agency in Murrieta, California.  We are ready to get you covered today.

Tips to Help You Stay Focused Behind the Wheel

Try out these suggestions to help you avoid distracted driving.

While most drivers have driven while distracted at some point in their lives, it’s important to remember that distracted driving can have devastating, potentially fatal consequences.  This is why all drivers should make a conscious effort to avoid distractions when they’re behind the wheel.  Here are some tips to help you stay focused as you drive.

Put Away Your Phone

Any time you play with your phone, you are taking your attention away from the road.  This can negatively affect your reaction time or cause you to miss a driving hazard completely.  To avoid the temptation of answering a call or replying to a text, keep your phone out of reach while you’re driving.  If you do need to use your phone for some urgent reason, just make sure you pull off the road first.

Keep Your Passengers at a Minimum

Whether you are dealing with a backseat driver or noisy conversationalists, passengers can be extremely distracting for drivers.  The best way to avoid this distraction is by avoiding driving with passengers.  If this is not possible, do your best to keep the number of passengers you transport at a minimum.

Turn Your Music Down

Finally, while many drivers like to blast their music as they drive, this is not a safe driving practice.  Not only can loud music become disorienting and make it difficult to focus on the task of driving, but it can also drown out the sound of an approaching siren or the warning honk of a nearby vehicle.  To stay focused and safe, make sure you keep your volume turned down.

Try out these tips to help you avoid distracted driving.  Want another way to stay safe while on the road?  Make sure you have the proper auto insurance protections in place.  To find the right policies to meet your needs, contact the professionals at Stromsoe Insurance Agency in Murrieta, California.  Our dedicated team is ready to get you covered today.

Safety Precautions New Homeowners Should Take

Learn how you can protect yourself as you move into your new home.

If you’ve just purchased a new home, you’re probably worried about keeping your home, your belongings, and your loved ones safe.  Luckily, there are steps that you can take to protect the things you love most.  Try out these safety precautions that all new homeowners should consider.

Change Your Locks

You never know who might have a spare key to your home.  That’s why you should be sure to change all the locks in your home before you start to move in.  While you are getting new locks installed, consider investing in dead bolts and security doors as additional safety precautions.

Hide Your Valuables

When you start to move in, things are bound to be a little bit crazy.  While you might not be able to remember where everything is packed, you should also know where your most valuable items are.  As you are handling the moving-in process, hide these valuables in secret locations throughout your home.  This will ensure that they are not stolen if a burglar manages to break in.  Once you are more settled, you can take your valuables out of hiding and find a secure, more permanent place to keep them.

Invest in a Security System

Finally, getting a home security system is a great way to protect your home, belongings, and loved ones from the risk of burglars and vandals.  Additionally, upgrading to a system that offers 24-hour fire watch will also protect against the threat of a house fire.  Having a security system will give you peace of mind that your house is secure whether you’re home or away.

These are some of the safety precautions that all new homeowners should take.  Want another way to protect your home?  Make sure you have the proper home insurance protections in place.  To get the right coverage to meet your needs, contact the team at Stromsoe Insurance Agency in Murrieta, California.  Our experts are always ready to address your insurance needs.

Workplace Earthquake Safety Tips

Prepare your business for the threat of an earthquake.

If you live in California, then you know that the threat of an earthquake always looms overhead. That’s why it’s so important to have an earthquake preparedness plan for your home, family, and place of business. Not sure how to get your business ready for an earthquake? Here are some steps you should take.

Create a Disaster Plan

One of the first things you should do to prepare your business to respond to an earthquake is create a disaster plan. Your plan should cover emergency evacuation procedures, designate a safe meeting spot for your staff, and account for employee check-in after an earthquake. Additionally, your plan might want to address who will assist people with disabilities, conduct search and rescue, administer first-aid, and so on. Once your plan is laid out in full, it’s important to make sure you hold regular earthquake drills so your staff knows what to do when a real earthquake hits.

Identify Workplace Hazards

Another way to be prepared for an earthquake is by conducting a hazard hunt around your office. You should go around your workplace and document anything that could pose a risk during an earthquake. For instance, things such as tall shelves, heavy lighting fixtures, glass windows, and filing cabinets are just a few of the items that could injure an employee during an earthquake. Once you complete your hazard hunt, make sure you address every item on your list and look for ways to reduce the risk they pose to your employees.

Know What to Do When the Shaking Starts

Finally, it’s important that all of your employees know what to do to stay safe when an earthquake actually starts. Hold a staff meeting in which you explain the proper safety measures they should take when things start shaking. For instance, advise your employees to dive under their desks or a nearby table and stay there during the duration of the shaking. If there aren’t any desks nearby, then standing underneath a doorway is also an effective safety measure. Advise your employees to crouch to protect their internal organs from damage, and t0 use their hands to protect the back of their necks.

Take these steps to ensure that your business is prepared for an earthquake. Want another to prepare your business for a natural disaster? Make sure it has the proper insurance protections in place. To find the best policies to fit your needs, contact the experts at Stromsoe Insurance Agency in Murrieta, California. Our dedicated team is ready to get you the coverage you need today.