8 Tips to Reduce Distracted Driving

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Every day, at least nine Americans die and 100 are injured in distracted driving crashes according to the National Safety Council. Cell phones, dashboard touchscreens, and other in-vehicle technologies pose a threat to our safety. The consequences of those and other distractions are not worth the convenience they offer. Share these tips on how to reduce distracted driving activity with your loved ones.

  1. Stow your phone. Turning off the phone or putting it in “do not disturb” mode can help remove the temptation to browse online at a red light or respond right away to a text message.
  2. Vow not to multi-task. Anything that occupies your mind or vision can be a distraction behind the wheel. Avoid reading, eating, grooming or calling someone while behind the wheel, so you can focus on the road.
  3. Plan your route before you go. Programming your navigation system while you drive can take your eyes off the road. It’s better to ask a passenger to do it or to enter your destination before you leave home.
  4. Speak up. If you see someone texting or otherwise driving while distracted, ask them to stop that behavior. Encourage your children to do the same when they are passengers in a friend’s car. It could save a life.
  5. Avoiding reaching. Resist the urge to reach for items if they fall while driving.
  6. Keep kids and pets safe. Make sure kids are in proper car seats and that pets stay secured in the back of your vehicle. Do not allow pets to roam about the car.
  7. Don’t be a distraction. Avoid calling or texting family members and friends when you know they are driving to avoid distracting them.
  8. Set a good example. Parents can model good behavior for their children by demonstrating attentive driving.

How to Protect Your Home While on Vacation

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Summertime often means leaving your home whether to take a family vacation, visit a second home or close up a winter home.  Here are some important tips for keeping your home secure and safe while you are gone so that you can enjoy yourself and not worry about what is happening at your house. 

Tips for protecting your home when you are away​​

• Don’t post your vacation on social media. Criminals often scan social media to see when people are away.

• Make it look like you are home.  Use timers for exterior lights, park your car where you normally would, have someone mow your lawn, put a hold on mail and newspaper deliveries.

• Set your home alarm and let the alarm company know you will be away.

• Turn off your washing machine, dryer and dishwashers to avoid a water problem.  Shut off water lines if you will be gone for a long period of time. 

• Lock your doors with deadbolt locks; close and latch all windows.

• Store jewelry in a safe or safety deposit box.

• Unplug computers, TV’s and other electronics to prevent damage from a power surge.

• Ask a trusted friend or neighbor to keep a watchful eye on your house and stop by periodically to check on things.   Be sure to give that person the contact information for the account manager who handles your Homeowners insurance just in case something does happen. 

Swimming Pool Safety Tips

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While pools provide much summertime fun and relief from the heat, unfortunately they can also be dangerous and even deadly.   To help prevent injury, below are some safety tips that pool owners should follow. In addition, to protect yourself financially if you own a pool, be sure to talk to your account manager about how much liability insurance you have and consider a personal umbrella policy which will provide even more financial protection. 

1. Put fencing around the pool area.  In addition to the fences required by your town, consider creating as many barriers to the pool as possible when not in use such as locks on gates and safety covers. 
2. Never leave small children unsupervised, even for a few seconds.
3. Do not leave toys or floats in the pool when not in use as they may tempt toddlers into reaching for them.
4. Be sure all pool users know how to swim or are accompanied by someone who does.
5. Do not allow anyone to swim alone.
6. Keep people away from pool filters and other mechanisms as the suction force may cause injury. Know how to shut those devises off in case of an emergency.
7. Do not allow glass around pools.
8. Keep electrical devices away from pools and nearby wet areas.
9. Do not allow anyone who has been drinking to use the pool.
10. Never use the pool during lightning storms.
11. Do not allow anyone to dive into an above-ground pool or into the shallow end of the pool.
12. Keep a first aid kit, ring buoys, and reaching poles near the pool.  Consider taking CPR training