The Danger of Distracted Driving

shutterstock_137772059The increased proliferation of technology in all of our lives has created a new danger for those who take to the roads every day: distracted driving.

Talking on cell phones, operating navigation or audio devices and, especially, texting while driving create situations for drivers, passengers and those operating nearby or oncoming automobiles that can be extremely hazardous.

Numerous sources cite texting while driving as more dangerous than even driving while intoxicated.

According to Distraction.gov, the official distracted driving information website of the United States government, distracted driving is defined as “any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving.” These activities can include talking on a cell phone, eating, drinking, watching a video, adjusting a sound system, checking a navigation system, or even simply talking to passengers.

But by far the greatest distraction, because it involves visual, manual as well as mental attention, is texting.

During the daylight hours, at any time there are up to 660,000 drivers who are texting while behind the wheel, while a full quarter of teenagers respond to a text message at least once each time they drive.

A 2009 study commissioned by the U.S. Department of Transportation found that while texting a driver’s eyes typically leave the road for a full five seconds, or enough time at 55 mph to drive the length of a football field.

Distraction.gov notes that in 2013, 3,154 people were killed and 421,000 people injured in accidents involving distracted drivers. Drivers under the age of 20 make up 10 percent of all distracted driving fatalities, while drivers in their 20s make up 27 percent of distracted driving deaths.

OceanPoint Insurance wants to make our clients and others – especially those who are the parents of teenagers or young adults – aware of the very real danger of distracted driving, especially the distraction of texting while driving.

For more information on the dangers of distracted driving and how to stay safe behind the wheel, call OceanPoint at 847.5200

 

More information is available from Distraction.gov (www.distraction.gov) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which hosts a texting and driving prevention website, “Stop The Texts. Stop The Wrecks” (www.stoptextsstopwrecks.org).

The Importance of Protecting Your Home In Hurricane Season

shutterstock_135278885-2June marked the official start of the Atlantic hurricane season, but with 10 of the costliest hurricanes on record arriving between August and October, now is the time to prepare for the worst by doing your best to protect your property.

Some of the most important actions home and business owners can take are trimming trees surrounding their properties and ensuring that any furniture and lightweight yard structures and decorations are secure.

The Weather Channel reports that the number of hurricanes and tropical storms begins to rise slowly through June and July but then shoots up in August, peaking in September, slowing in October, and then returning to normal levels through October and November. But there are no concrete assurances when one of these great natural disasters will arrive. Among the biggest hurricanes the United States has experienced, Katrina, Irene and Andrew all arrived in August, Ike was in September and Sandy hit in October.

To prepare for these events, owners can take some straightforward precautionary steps to help protect their investments.

Trim nearby trees of their low-hanging or weak branches to prevent them from being torn off in a storm and thrown into homes and businesses. Try to keep branches from growing longer than five feet. Remove branches that are hanging over the edifice that could fall onto a roof during a storm. Remove leaves, sticks or other debris that easily be blown around from yards, driveways or parking lots, including gravel or other rocks used in walkways or flowerbeds. Also, arrange with the local municipal authorities or a contractor to have tree limbs trimmed away from nearby power lines.

It may also be wise to consult an arborist or tree doctor about the roots of nearby trees, as the large amounts of rain that accompany hurricanes can loosen roots and possibly cause trees to fall into homes or businesses.

Items kept outside a structure should also be considered. Remove and store lawn furniture and place garbage cans and potted plants in a safe area out of reach of hurricane winds, such as in a garage or basement. Sections of fences or swinging fence doors should be secured.

As a leading provider of personal and commercial insurance coverage in Rhode Island, OceanPoint wants our clients to understand the risks of hurricanes and take the right precautions so that unexpected claims do not become necessary following heavy storms.

OceanPoint Insurance Agency is committed to providing clients with the best possible solutions to obtain protection and peace of mind. To learn more about how to protect your property during hurricane season, call us at 847.5200.