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Let it Snow: Safety Tips for Driving on Ice

Driving on ice is extremely dangerous and poses unique challenges and risks. Even the most skilled drivers should avoid driving when the roads ice up. When the temperature gets close to freezing, you should start getting concerned. However, driving on ice isn’t always avoidable. What should you do when you’re required to drive on icy roads to reach your destination? Prepare  Equip your vehicle with chains or snow tires. Chains are by far the most effective and should be used where ice and snow remain on the roadway.  Correctly operating windshield wipers and defrosters are also essential to safety while driving in snow and ice conditions. Make sure to check them before you set out! Feel out the road by starting out slowly and testing your steering control and braking ability. Avoid spinning your tires when you start by gently pressing your gas pedal until the car starts to roll. Start slowing down three times sooner than you normally would when turning or stopping. Remain Calm  If you discover that you’re driving on ice, you must first and foremost remain calm. Never hit the brakes or make any sudden movements with the steering wheel, even if you feel yourself sliding. The best thing to do is to slowly take your foot off the accelerator. Slow down as much as you can without putting yourself in danger of being rear-ended.  Find a Secure Location  Find a safe and secure location to park your vehicle, such as a parking lot. It is not recommended that you stop on the roadway, including the shoulder. Unlike with snow where you can normally navigate through, when driving on ice, you should find a safe location to park as soon as possible.  Correspond with Conditions  Reduce your speed to correspond with conditions. There is no such thing as a “safe” speed range at which you may drive on snow or ice. You must be extremely cautious until you are able to determine how much traction you can expect from your tires. When stopping, avoid sudden movements of the steering wheel and pump the brake gently. Avoid locking of brakes on glazed ice as it will cause a loss of steering and control.  Take Other Precautions  Maintain a safe interval between you and the car ahead of you. Keep your vehicle in the best possible driving condition. The…
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As We Head Into Fall and Winter, Now’s the Time to Brush Up on Night Driving Safety

The days are getting shorter, and with Daylight Savings right around the corner, they’re about to get even more so. Many people will find themselves spending more time driving in the dark during these coming months, which jeopardizes depth perception, color recognition, and peripheral vision. The glare of headlights from an oncoming vehicle can also become a huge obstacle for drivers. With the holidays coming up fast, no one wants to end up in a costly, stressful, time-consuming accident.  Enhance Night Vision At night visibility is limited to about 500 feet with high beams and 250 feet with normal headlights, allowing for less reaction time.  What should you do to combat darkness? Aim your headlights correctly, and make sure they’re clean Dim your dashboard Look away from oncoming lights If you wear glasses, make sure they’re anti-reflective Clean the windshield to eliminate streaks Slow down to compensate for limited visibility and reduced stopping time As we age, we have greater difficulty seeing at night. Some individuals of the age 60+  also may have compromised vision due to eye health issues. Drivers, especially those who are older, should: Have annual vision exams Reduce speed Take a driving course (Even experienced drivers can benefit from a refresher) Minimize distractions Check the side effects of prescription drugs Limit driving to daytime hours if possible. Avoid Fatigued Driving Drowsy driving puts everyone on the road at risk. Losing two hours of sleep has the same effect on driving as having three beers, and tired drivers are three times more likely to be in a car crash if they’re fatigued. Ways to combat fatigued driving includes:  Get at least seven hours of sleep  Don’t drive if you’ve been awake for over 16 hours  Stop every two hours to rest Pull over and take a nap if you’re drowsy Plan travel times for when you feel most awake. Stay Safe During Rush Hour Evening rush hour (between 4 and 7 pm on weekdays) is a dangerous time to drive due to busy roads and drivers eager to get home. In the colder months, it’s dark during rush hour, making the driving situation that much more dangerous. Put safety first by:  Not being an impatient driver  Staying in your lane and aware of drivers who dart from lane to lane Even though the route may be familiar,…
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Your Car Breaks Down in the Middle of Nowhere. What Do You Do?

Driving with any vehicle issues means you are taking a chance of making it to your next destination. Car troubles can be anything that includes a tire blow out to overheating of the engine. No matter what type of problem you are having, there is always a chance you will end up stranded on the side of the road. This can be both frustrating and dangerous. The best thing you can do is to have a plan if you find yourself broken down.  Use Your Hazard Lights or Emergency Flashers When you know you are going to have to pull off the side of the road, the safest way to do so is to alert any other drivers. You can do this by using your hazard lights that each vehicle is equipped with. The button is usually an orange or red triangle. This will cause your lights to start to flash in unison and is a great way to indicate to other passing drivers that you are stopping or there is trouble with your vehicle. Leave the lights on until the tow truck pulls up. Figure Out Your Location Now that you are safely pulled off the side of the road and you have your hazard lights on, you must know where you are. You can’t just call for help without any idea on where the tow truck has to pick you up. If possible, use the GPS on your phone or in your car to find your location. You want to be able to give the most accurate location to the tow truck operator so they can easily find you. This will also keep the amount of time you’re waiting on the side of the road to a minimum, lessening the chance that you’re involved in an accident or other dangers.  Exit the Car Safely Depending on where you are located, the traffic around you could be heavy. The cars that are passing may still have a hard time seeing you on the side of the road. Your safety is most important and that is why you should be careful when you are exiting the car. If possible, get out of the passenger side of the car so that you are not walking out in the oncoming traffic lane. A popped hood is the universal sign of a vehicle…
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What Causes Teen Car Crashes?

The traffic accident rates for 16-to-19-year-old drivers exceeds any other age group. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, teen drivers are nearly three times more likely than drivers aged 20 and older to be in a fatal crash.  Driving is a privilege, not a right. It’s important that teens own the newfound responsibilities that come with driving. There are specific causes that make teenagers such risky drivers, and understanding these causes is the key to helping your teen to stay safe on the roads and prevent themselves from becoming part of the above statistic. Poor Hazard Detection The ability to detect hazards in the driving environment is based on perceptual information-gathering skills and identification of potential threats. It takes time for young individuals to acquire this ability, which is why teens are more likely than older drivers to speed and allow shorter distances from the front of their vehicle to the front of the next. Low Risk Perception Risk perception is the ability to subjectively assess the degree of threat posed by a hazard and one’s ability to handle the situation. Young drivers tend to underestimate the crash risk in hazardous situations and overestimate their ability to avoid the threats they identify. Risk Taking Teenagers tend to take more risks while driving partly due to overconfidence in their driving abilities. Teenagers are more likely to engage in risky behaviors such as speeding, tailgating, running red lights, violating traffic signs/signals, making illegal turns, passing dangerously, and failure to yield to pedestrians. Teenagers also tend to wear safety belts less often than older drivers. Lack of Skill New drivers have yet to fully master basic vehicle handling skills and safe-driving knowledge they need to drive safely. Vehicles are intricate machines and it takes time to properly maneuver any potentially dangerous machinery. Alcohol and Drugs Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs is a common cause of serious crashes, especially fatal ones, involving teenage drivers. Teenagers who drink and drive are at much greater risk of serious crashes than older drivers with equal blood alcohol concentrations. Passengers For teenagers, the risk of being in a crash dramatically increases when they transport passengers and the risk of a fatal crash increases as the number of passengers increases. Passengers who are same age peers may distract teen drivers and promote risky behavior….
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The Three Main Types of Auto Insurance Coverage, and Why They’re All Important

When you’re paying your bills every month, you may pay for auto insurance without giving a lot of thought into what it actually does for you. The reality is that auto insurance isn’t one single thing; there are three main types of coverage (and some other optional coverages too). All three of these are important and they work together to make sure you’re protected. Let’s discuss the three main types and what they offer you. Liability Liability insurance, which is further divided into property damage liability and bodily injury liability is the coverage that pays for another driver’s expenses in case of an at-fault accident. If, for example, you hit another vehicle and were found at fault, your liability insurance would kick in and pay for the car repairs and any medical expenses that were accrued. Liability insurance is required by law in order to drive your vehicle. Collision Collision insurance is the coverage that pays for your own expenses if you are involved in an at-fault accident. In the example above, if you had collision insurance your insurance would pay for the repairs or replacement of your vehicle. If the accident was not your fault, and instead was the fault of the other driver, his or her insurance should be the one that will pay for your damages. In the unusual case where the other driver isn’t covered, your “uninsured motorist” policy would come into effect, if you had chosen to purchase it. Comprehensive Comprehensive insurance is the type of coverage that pays you for anything that is NOT a standard car accident. Comprehensive covers you in case of theft, vandalism, fire, acts of war and other incidents. In most of these cases, there may not be someone that could directly take the “blame” for the damage. However, with comprehensive coverage, you will not have to worry because your vehicle will be covered for repair or replacement. These policies can be quite different from one another. Your comprehensive policy will detail exactly what would be included. While you may not look forward to paying for car insurance, the peace of mind and protection it provides you is something you can’t live without. If you’d like more information about affordable and effective coverage, check AJ Benet’s auto insurance options, including our Youthful Driver auto insurance policies. We look forward to protecting you and…
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The Auto Insurance Claims Process, Step by Step

An auto insurance claim is a request made to an insurance company for compensation for damages sustained after a car accident, or for representation or intervention on the insured’s behalf when they are liable for damages. If you are involved in an accident, you will want to make a claim. When it comes time to file an auto insurance claim, a lot of people aren’t always in the best head space. Car accidents are incredibly nerve-wracking, and trying to coordinate all of the necessary information and figure out what costs you are responsible for can be stressful on anyone. Rather than waiting until the accident has already happened to try to figure everything out, we encourage you to familiarize yourself with our guide to the claims process now. That way, if an accident ever does happen (though it hopefully won’t), you’ll be ready to go and make the process as short and painless as possible. 1. Contact the Police After a car accident, contact the police and have an officer take down the details of the accident in the police report. You may be shaken up after an accident and not be in a position to assess what’s happened. If the other party becomes difficult, the police will be there to make sure you’re safe and that emergency service personnel are there to assist with injuries or hazards. 2. Contact Your Insurance Agent Having your car accident information ready will help you keep track of the information needed to file your claim. Be prepared to provide accident details to your insurer. Call your insurance company from the scene of the accident while waiting for the police or after you are safe. They will walk you through the next steps. If your car is not drivable, your insurer can advise you on transportation for you and your car. If you have this coverage on your policy, they can arrange for your car to be towed, and get you a rental car. If you do not call them, you won’t know how they can help and you may spend more money than needed. They will then open the claims file. A claims professional will represent you in any discussions with third parties involved, investigate the circumstances, handle vehicle repairs and rental arrangements, and get the claim settled. That’s what your insurance company…
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Who Really Causes the Most Car Accidents? Common Stereotypes Explored

There are many stereotypes around the question “Who causes the most car accidents?” Some people claim that women are statistically worse drivers than men, while others claim that men cause more accidents. Some say that newly-licensed teenagers are the biggest dangers of the road, while still others feel that senior citizens above a certain age should not be driving. The truth is, we can all be accident-prone and are constantly at risk out there on the road. No matter who you are, it’s always crucial for your safety and your finances to be careful on the road and secure Auto Insurance before driving. Let’s explore a couple common stereotypes that have been in the talk for quite some time now. Men vs. Women The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety did a study for findings based on the idea that men tend to engage in certain riskier behaviors on the road than women. Men’s statistical bad driving tends to stem from deciding to err on the opposite side of caution. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conducted an analysis showing that nearly twice as many men 34 years or younger die in speeding crashes than women in the same age bracket. It was also found that more men drink and drive, get traffic violations and are deemed responsible for a greater portion of car accidents. That being said, according to the National Highway Safety Administration, men also drive a lot more miles than women which could be why men cause 6.1 million accidents per year, while women cause 4.4 million per year. On average, men drive 16,550 miles and women drive 10,142 miles per year according to Federal Highway Administration. Therefore men drive about 30 percent more miles than women. Yet, they’re implicated in slightly less than 30 percent of car accidents. Men do cause more accidents, but they are slightly less at-risk than women, by a small margin. The conclusion? We can all be risky drivers at times, and no one should consider themselves one hundred percent safe from car accidents. Seniors vs. Teens Mistakes are expected from young drivers, but the first few years are pretty risky. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety drivers, ages 16-19 are three times more likely to crash than drivers over 20. The United States Census Bureau found that teens cause about…
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Hurricane Sandy’s Impact on the Auto Industry

Hurricane Sandy’s Impact on the Auto Industry While many of the mass transit systems are up and running again, the auto industry is facing significant long term effects in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. The results are mixed, and often contradictory. Auto insurance claims are pouring in by the thousands. Demand for used cars is increasing as people seek to repair storm damaged ones, resulting in a shortage of rental vehicles available. The new car market will get a boost, but many dealerships have suffered losses and have to scrap thousands of brand new vehicles. Estimates by the National Automobile Dealers Association tally the results at up to a quarter-million vehicles across the East Cost may have been damaged by Hurricane Sandy. Nearly a month later, cars still line the streets, idly waiting to be towed. Rental cars are difficult to come by. Consumers need replacement cars for their own storm-damaged vehicles and emergency responders and local utilities need cars and trucks for the recovery effort. The result has left the rental car industry sorely scarce of vehicles. According to the New York Times, rentals for the four largest companies- Enterprise Holdings, Hertz Global Holdings, Avis Budget Group Inc. and Dollar Thrifty have all sold out in key location. Many are diverting vehicles from other areas to compensate for the high demand in the upcoming holiday season. Sales of autos have also seen a spike. Insurance companies have received thousands of auto claims, and many are looking to replace storm-damaged cars. But, auto dealerships located in storm ravaged areas have felt the effects. Despite the expected boost, large numbers of brand new cars were damaged. According to Auto Blog, Toyota, Chrysler, Nissan, and Honda are set to scrap around 15,000 new vehicles ruined by the storm. Contact A.J. Benet today for more information about our Westchester County Auto Insurance. (888) 639-4560 Source: Wall Street Journal

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New York News: Class Divisions & A Golf Course

New York News: Class Divisions & A Golf Course The State of New York has given New York City 97 million dollars to develop a public 18-hole golf course on the newly re-constructed Perry Point Park. The park sits in the poorest borough of New York City, the Bronx. Many residents have voiced their perspectives and concern, such as the incomprehensible spending and the potentials risks of methane gas exposure. The construction of the golf course at Ferry Point Park is the most reprehensible symbol of class division and money distribution. Although the economically thriving state of New York still holds a large percentage of the nation’s top earners, the Bronx couldn’t be any more different. While Manhattan’s average household income between 2002 and 2010 has grown by $29,000, the Bronx has hardly bounced back from the recession and has only increased by $8,000.  According to the poverty results taken in 2009 by city-data.com, 34.4% of those who reside in the Bronx have an income below the poverty level. This is 16.2% more than the nation’s poverty level. In the United States Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, 1 in 5 households (1.8 million residents) in New York rely on food stamps. Their economy is still at the climax of the recession; home ownership has declined, housing values have plummeted, and fewer individuals carry health insurance. This poses an essential question; is spending 97 million dollars and turning over acres of land to build a golf course a feasible and efficient use of the city’s resources. In addition, the Ferry Point Golf Course will sit on a landfill that closed down in 1963 and has since been holding high levels of explosive methane gas. Although New York City has installed wells to measure and track the explosive level, residents are still righteously concerned that they are breathing lethal gas. While many residents are against the construction of another Trump National and International Golf Club, there many advocate for the construction. The Mayor’s administration has emphasized the history of golf as a past time. They stated that despite the decline in the use of golf courses, the Ferry Point neighbors expressed their overwhelming desire for a golf course in 1977. The administration argues that golf has been an important pastime for Americans for the past half of a century. Other park advocates…
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Mamaroneck Auto Insurance: How to Help Prevent Parking Lot Accidents

Mamaroneck Auto Insurance: Prevent Parking Lot Accidents You know the drill. As summer months wind to a close, and the kids head back to school that also means the Mamaroneck holiday rush around is close to beginning. The fall and Halloween decorations are out; it’s followed closely by Thanksgiving, and before you know it the full holiday cycle is in swing. This post is provided by A.J. Benet’s Mamaroneck Auto Insurance programs. Call us today for a free quote. (888) 639-4560 With the festivities, this also means that the malls, outlets, and grocery stores will be severely overcrowded.  During the holidays, the frequency of parking lot accidents increases by approximately 20 percent according to a study by a national insurer. To help protect  your car from dings and dents, follow these parking lot tips: Watch your speed. It is easier to avoid potential accidents if you have time to brake. You can avoid cars that are speeding, cut in front of you, or that pull out unexpectedly from their parking space. Check your mirrors…twice. Use your eyes and mirrors to make sure that you have a clear path before backing out (or pulling in) front of a space. Take the scenic route. Park your vehicle farther from store entrances. It is generally less crowded, and  your car is less likely to get dings or scratches on it. Despite your best efforts, if you do happen to get into a parking accident, report it to the police and your insurer immediately. Even if it seems minor, reporting it makes sure you’re protected in case the other party doesn’t have insurance or files a claim. Whether crossing the George Washington Bridge, driving home on the Hutch or making your way up Interstate 684, Alan J. Benet, Inc. provides Mamaroneck Auto Insurance for drivers from New York City to Westchester County and nearby Connecticut and New Jersey with personal Mamaroneck Auto Insurance plans to protect against unforeseen damages and injuries. Contact us today for more information about our Mamaroneck Auto Insurance Alternative Source: Fatalities & Injuries in Motor Vehicle Backing Crashes

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