Sharing the Road: How to Best Avoid Hitting Animals

Sharing the road with our furry friends is something that we have to get used to.

Some roads are built right by forests where many deer, elk, and moose have roamed for millions of years. There was an estimated 1.25 million claims reported last year from such collisions, which shows no indication of a decrease—so we’re going to have to learn how to drive with them on the road. Here are some tips on how you can avoid hitting our mammalian friends and keeping your car deer-free.

  • Brighten the road. Using your high-beams could end up saving your car’s life, along with an elk or deer’s. Flicker the lights to spook the deer as they tend to stay fixated on your headlights.
  • Brake if possible. If you see the deer with plenty of time to brake, lightly tap on the brakes and honk your horn to alert drivers behind you and to possibly startle the deer. If there are no cars behind you, and you’re approaching quickly, slam the brakes.
  • Stay alert. Pay attention to “deer crossing” signs. If you see one deer, there are probably more around that area. And be vigilant during mating and hunting seasons. These seasons force animals to wander into the roads more frequently.
  • Avoid swerving. If a collision seems inevitable, it’s important to remember not to swerve. You could swerve onto oncoming traffic, or end up in a ditch.

If you have questions about the California car insurance or your growing number of drivers requires, don’t wait to contact Stromsoe Insurance Agency. We know that you already have enough to worry about with your new teen driver, and are here to making getting him or her covered easy! Protect your family, your vehicles, and your liability by calling us today.

Safely Sharing the Road with Bicyclists

Schools are starting to fill with children while the roads are filling with motorists and bicyclists going to and from their destinations. With more children riding to and from school on their bicycles, we must think about what we can do to make the roads a safer place.

As a state-wide effort to reduce the number of biking fatalities on the California roads, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) have put forth a new law. Starting on September 16th, all motorists must yield three feet of distance between bicyclists at all times. This rule applies to motorists trying to pass or overtake a bicyclist. If you are unable to yield three feet distance, you must slow down until you are able to do so without presenting any danger.

Safety on the road however is not a one way street. While more distance between vehicles and bicycles will surely make a difference, both motorists and bicyclists must practice safe driving habits. Gathered are some helpful safe driving tips for both bicyclists and motorists:

  • Whether you are cycling to and from school, or simply around the corner to visit a friend, it is important that you are always equipped with a helmet.
  • If your child will be riding their bicycle to school, explain to them that they are safest while riding with traffic as opposed to against it.
  • As a bicyclist on the road, it is important that you maintain eye contact with drivers in their cars, tell your children riding their bicycles this vital tip as well. Eye contact can let you know the difference between an aware driver and a distracted driver.
  • Most importantly, always be aware of your surroundings.

It is important that you not only abide by the rules of the new law, but you must also practice safe driving habits no matter how busy or in a rush you may be. Contact Stromsoe Insurance Agency in Murrieta for all of your California auto insurance needs.

Avoiding Drowsy Driving

No matter how experienced of a driver you may be, it is always a bad idea to drive when you are feeling drowsy. Drowsy driving can be as dangerous as driving intoxicated. Research shows that being awake for 18 hours is equivalent to having a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08%. Each year, there are nearly 100,000 drowsy driving related accidents.

Many of us find ourselves daydreaming behind the wheel and then realizing you don’t remember driving the last few miles. It is important to be aware of your behavior behind the wheel and watch out for some of the key indicators of drowsy driving. Keep these safe driving tips in mind. For instance, if you find yourself having difficultly focusing with heavy eyelids and frequent blinking, it is probably best if you get off the road. Restlessness and irritability may also mean you are driving drowsy.

To avoid drowsy driving, it is important to be aware of the number of hours you are sleeping and schedule naps and caffeine breaks accordingly. Driving with a friend can also help avoid drowsy driving because you can alternate nap times or keep each other awake. Many people forget the side effects of medications so it is a good idea to make yourself aware of any drowsy effects and plan accordingly.

Although youth, shift workers with long hours, commercial drivers, and business travelers are at a higher risk of drowsy driving, everyone can be affected by drowsy driving. Be extra careful when driving after travels and always be aware of your driving behavior.

Contact the insurance specialists at Stromsoe Insurance Agency for all of your insurance needs.

Safe Teen Driving Tips

Getting a drivers license is one of the most exciting times in a young person’s life. It can also be the scariest time in a parent’s life. Making sure your child is prepared for the road can not only help keep your teen driver safe, but also help ease your mind as a parent. A few simple safe-driving tips can help your teen be a safer driver for the rest of their life.

Jumping a car – teaching your teen how to properly jump a car could be the difference of them making it home for dinner and being stuck in a parking lot.

Changing a tire – although changing a tire seems like something that you could call to have fixed, think of all the places that there is no cell reception. Relying on a cell phone to make a repair call can leave you stranded in unfamiliar places for many hours.

Knowing dashboard lights – dashboard lights are not just decorations. They all have specific meanings and knowing which ones need to be dealt with immediately can save you teen from a disaster and save you hundreds of dollars in additional repairs to a vehicle.

The most important step to making sure your teen is a safe driver is to make sure they have the proper auto insurance. Stromsoe Insurance Agency offers different auto insurance policies that fit into any lifestyle.

Going Green for Earth Day

Earth Day is Tuesday, April 22nd. This is a perfect day to get involved in your community and find ways to be a little greener in your own life.

The first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970 and was the brainchild of Senator Gaylord Nelson. It was started as a “teach-in” to educated the public about the environment. Nelson wanted to bring the environmental issues into the public spotlight. Today, the Earth Day Network works with over 17,000 partners and organizations in over 174 countries.

When thinking of ways to go green in your own life, small changes can help make a big impact. Taking public transportation or carpooling with fellow employees to get to work can help cut down your carbon footprint. Changing lights in your home to more energy efficient ones and making sure you turn them off when you leave a room can help cut down on your energy usage.

To get involved in your community, look for special Earth Day events. Many communities have beach clean ups or tree planting to celebrate Earth Day. If there are no events, make your own! Get other community members involved to help make your community more beautiful.

Stromsoe Insurance Agency encourages you to find ways to go green in your own life. They also want to remind you to contact them for all of your insurance needs.

Safe Driving Tips for Rainy Weather

Rain contributes to thousands of automobile accidents annually. Slick roads reduce tire traction and interfere with a driver’s visibility. Keep yourself and your passengers safe while driving in the rain with these safe driving tips.

Slow It Down: Rain mixed with dirt and debris on the road creates a perfect condition for skids. Avoid skidding on wet roads by driving at a slower pace, which increases traction.

Check Your Tires: Keep your tires properly inflated as recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. This information can typically be found on the glove box door, door-post, fuel door, or vehicle door edge.

Don’t Get Distracted: Turn off any cell phones, the radio and ask that passengers sit quietly as you drive in hazardous conditions. Keep both hands on the wheel at all times.

Brake Earlier: In addition to driving slower, you should also break earlier and with less force than normal. Increasing stopping distance can eliminate many accidents.

For more information on how to drive safe in rainy weather in the Murrieta, California area, please contact your auto insurance professionals at Stromsoe Insurance Agency for safe driving tips.

Can’t Stop Texting and Driving? There’s an App for That

Texting and driving is one of fastest growing dangers to all of us. In recent years, more and more people have begun using smart phones for texting and phone apps on a daily basis. Many states have enacted laws to help curb this practice, but in some places it is up to the driver to refrain from this type of distracted driving.

However, there is an app for that. No, really! AT&T has introduced a new app called DriveMode. This app is completely free. Essentially what it does is when your phone senses that the car is going over 25 miles an hour, it automatically sends a reply to incoming texts letting the sender know that the recipient is driving and will get back to them at a later time. Additionally, all calls are immediately sent to voice mail. When the phone senses that it is not moving more than 25 miles an hour anymore it will allow the recipient to receive the texts and reply to them. While this may not be a perfect solution, it is one way to help reduce the temptation to text and drive.

As you can see, texting and driving is a major safety concern for all drivers. For more information regarding safe driving tips, or for answers to your insurance questions in or around the Murrieta, CA area, please contact Stromsoe Insurance Agency.

Car Care Means Coverage Care

Taking good care of your car is good idea. Did you realize a well-maintained vehicle is more dependable, safer, and more valuable. However, did you know that careful maintenance can also save you money on Auto insurance?

For example, experts recommend replacing your wiper blades every 6,000 miles or six months. If your wipers leave streaks and smears, you’re ready for a replacement set. But also consider how unsafe it is to drive your car without clear vision. Every year motorists have accidents because they fail to see oncoming traffic or a car that stops in front of them.

While you’re thinking about a clear windshield, what about that non functioning defroster you’ve been meaning to fix.

Don’t forget about seat belts. Thousands of vehicle occupants every year suffer injuries because they don’t wear their belts. Are all of your belts functioning properly — even those in the back seat? Not only are unbelted rear seat passengers highly susceptible to injury, but 80% of fatalities among front-seat passengers wearing seat belts resulted from collisions with unbelted back seat passengers, according to a University of Tokyo study.

Taking preventative maintenance measures such as these, together with safe driving habits, will help curb highway accidents, reducing injuries and saving lives –not to mention lowering the number (and cost) of Auto coverage claims. That’s why insurance companies offer premium credits to drivers who take care of their vehicles.

One of our Protection Coaches® can provide advice on the types and amounts of coverage a vehicle owner needs. Here are 4 Easy Ways to Reach Us:
Call 951-600-5751 or 877-994-6787
Fax 951-677-6265
Email – insure@siaonline.com
Visit www.siaonline.com

GPS Devices – Improving Road Safety

Just how safe are GPS devices? Honestly, it comes down to the driver themselves. A GPS device can be a great safety tool for any vehicle, when used correctly. There is a lot of controversy whether a GPS will increase or decrease the safety of the driver. Here are just a few thoughts that you should consider when adding a GPS system to your vehicle:

Drivers know where they are going. Lost drivers are usually distracted and dangerous additions to the road. They speed up, slow down and spend more time looking at signs than watching the road. When a GPS is used correctly, drivers can focus on the task of driving while the GPS navigates. If a turn is missed, the GPS will automatically recalculate the route to compensate.

Driving at night is safer with a GPS. Most people find it more difficult to drive at night or in low-visibility conditions. Fortunately, a GPS has the ability to warn the driver of upcoming turns or ramps before it is time to use them. The map previews are especially helpful for driving on dark back roads.

There is no need to deal with awkward paper maps. Juggling large paper maps and trying to refold them is a difficult task. Trying to read these maps while driving creates several hazards. Having a passenger try to read the maps might not always be beneficial. This is why it is easier and safer to get a GPS device.

There are special safety features. Hands-free features allow for calling the police while driving. There are also features for locating nearby hospitals, good repair shops and a wide variety of other destinations.

It is easy to choose the right lane. Some streets and freeways are confusing. Certain lanes may turn into exits, and congested traffic makes such situations worse. A good GPS system will tell drivers which lane to stay in, which exit to take and when to turn.

How to Turn a GPS into a Safety Aid

The first driving task any person should accomplish is to be aware of his or her surroundings. By following some simple rules, drivers can stay aware and maximize the safety features of their GPS devices.

Learn to use the device before taking off. Although most people learn the basic functions before getting on the road, very few thoroughly learn the overall system. Beginners should practice using the GPS and become comfortable with the touchscreen. Make sure the features are optimized for visibility. One mistake many beginners make is keeping their eyes on the screen too long.

Never program the device while driving. Every start-up screen and safety manual reiterates this important tip. Enter the destination prior to departing. If it is necessary to change or cancel the destination while driving, pull over to a safe place to re-program it. Fortunately, some newer devices prohibit re-programming while the car is in motion.

Mount the GPS device in a safe place. When choosing a spot for the GPS, make sure it does not conflict with important sight lines. Positioning it near the dashboard is a good idea.

Always rely on the voice directions. Although it might be necessary to glance occasionally at the map, try to rely mostly on voice directions. Avoid staring at the map. If it seems confusing, pull over to study it.

We hope this helps keep you safe. If you ever have any questions, please contact the Total Protection Team at 877-994-6787 or visit www.siaonline.com, we are happy to help. Have a great day!

Important Response Tips After An Accident

Very few people are prepared to face a traffic accident; however, many people will be involved in one at some point during their lives. While some are minor, others are severe and require appropriate action. Even the most careful drivers may experience an accident due to the poor driving skills of others. The best way to be prepared is to know how to respond at the scene. People who know what to do can save lives. In addition to this, preparedness makes the claims process simpler.

If an accident happens, take the following steps:

  • Stop the car immediately, and check to see if anyone involved is injured. Do not move any injured individuals.
  • Call the highway patrol or police immediately. Be sure to tell them how many people are involved, how many people are hurt and what types of injuries have been noted. The police will then notify an emergency response team.
  • Find a blanket, sweater or anything available to cover injured people with. It is very important to try to keep them warm.
  • Set up flares or other bright objects around the scene of the accident. This is especially important at night, and the objects will help other motorists steer clear of the scene.
  • When an involved vehicle is parked in the middle of the road, pull it to the shoulder. If possible, it is important to avoid congesting the road.
  • Ask the responding law enforcement officer where to obtain a police report copy. As a rule, it is beneficial to have one before submitting an insurance claim.
  • If necessary, call a towing company to pick up the damaged vehicle. Avoid giving permission for repair work. The insurance adjuster will need to see the vehicle and assess it prior to the repair process.

 

When the accident occurs, it is important to obtain some information from the other drivers and passengers involved in the accident. If they are upset, try to calm them down. Write down the following bits of information:

  • Names and addresses of every driver or passenger involved.
  • Names and addresses of all witnesses at the scene.
  • The make and model of every car involved.
  • Insurance identification information for each party.
  • License plate numbers of each car involved.
  • Drivers license numbers of each individual.

 

Not all other parties may be willing to cooperate. If they do not have insurance, they might try to offer a settlement at the scene of the accident. They might also prefer not to involve the police or highway patrol. Since there are many things that could go wrong in such a scenario, always notify law enforcement immediately. Be sure to write down the law enforcement officer’s badge number and name. If any emergency personnel are involved, write down their names. After an accident, always contact a personal insurance agent.

In some cases, people hit an unattended vehicle. It might be impossible to find the owner or wait for that individual to return. In such a case, the person who hit the vehicle should leave a note with their name, address and phone number. Write down the details of the accident, and call an insurance agent immediately.