November, 2020 | Boizelle Insurance Partnership

How Do We Minimize Distractions While We’re Behind the Wheel?

One of the best ways to reduce the amount of distractions we have while we’re operating a motor vehicle is by keeping our hands free, so that both of them can have complete control of the steering wheel.

Invest in a cell phone holder: For those of you who use your cell phone as a GPS, cell phone holders can be used to lock your cell phone in a fixed, secured position, so that you don’t have to be tempted to pick it up while you’re driving. The costs are minimal and these items can be found on or at Best Buy.

Podcasts or Playlists: A lot of people like to listen to music or to podcasts while they’re driving. This is normal and perfectly safe as long as the volume isn’t so loud to the point where it hinders your ability to hear anything else around you i.e. a passenger’s voice or another car’s horn. It’s imperative that you keep your eyes on the road at all times while you’re behind the wheel. Podcasts are a great choice because they usually focus on one topic at a time, so you’re less inclined to use your hands to change to another topic or to another song. If you enjoy music more than podcasts, consider creating a playlist ahead of time for your travels, so you’re not tempted to touch the dials on your radio or your cell phone.

Don’t apply makeup in the car: Any time you do something that requires your eyes to move away from the road in front of you can present potential danger. Applying makeup is no exception. Serious injury could occur should you hit the vehicle in front of you!

Avoid eating or drinking: The truth is that no one can really multi-task effectively. Sure, you have two hands, so you think you can use one for one thing and the other for something else. It’s important to remember that you’ll never be able to give the proper attention to a single task if you attempt something else at the same time. Getting distracted is easy in these situations. Additionally, if you’re drinking a hot beverage, the possibility of spillage could result in a personal injury.

Limit distractions with passengers: When you’re having a conversation with another passenger, you may sometimes feel the need to turn your head towards them to acknowledge what they’re saying or to see if they’re acknowledging you. Don’t do this.

Let dropped items go: If you happen to drop something while driving, do not attempt to pick it up. Wait until you arrive at a red light to pick it up. If it’s easier for you, when you finally stop at the red light, put your car in park and then pick up the item you dropped. That way, the car won’t shift forward until you put the car back into drive.

Don’t become distracted by kids and dogs in the backseat: However adorable as they may be, rowdy children can present potential risks to your safety if they’re rough-housing in the backseat. That, compounded with shouting or screaming can escalate matters to a point you don’t want to have come to pass. As far as dogs are concerned, make sure they are properly secured in a pet seat. Many of them can be attached the your pet’s leash.

Don’t turn up the volume: You won’t be able to hear potential emergency vehicles attempting to pass you if your music is too loud. Keep your music volume to a reasonable level.

Avoid rubbernecking: Have you ever slowed down to see the aftermath of an auto accident? Don’t do it. It clogs traffic and requires your eyes to move away from what you should be focused on: what’s in front of you.

Avoid fixing your attention on pulled-over vehicles: In the words of Obi-wan Kenobi, “You don’t need to see his identification. Move along.”

Avoid tailgating: Maintain enough distance between yourself and the car in front of you, so that if you’re ever in situation that requires you to brake suddenly, you won’t slam cause a collision. You’ll avoid potentially injuring the driver in front of you, let alone getting them upset. No one wants that.

Avoid rowdy passengers: Being rowdy in the car isn’t worth causing an accident. Leave the rowdiness for when you reach your destination.

Wear sunglasses and use your visor: Make sure you have your sunglasses available at sunrise and sunset, when the sun is at its most powerful.

Don’t smoke and drive: This is similar to eating and driving because it requires one hand to not be the steering wheel.

Avoid basic grooming tasks: Don’t shave, adjust your clothing, or do your hair while you’re behind the wheel of your vehicle.

Don’t put your convertible top up while in traffic: Although some cars have this feature available that allows you to do this with the simple push of a button, it may become distracting for other drivers near you. If you must, pull over on the side of the road before adjusting your convertible top.

Don’t overreact to outside stimuli: Road rage is a serious issue. While it’s normal to react when someone honks their horn at you, it’s best to not fly off the handle at them. Instead, take a deep breath and remain calm. Road rage incidents have the potential to hurt you and others around you.


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Why Do We Celebrate Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving Day was proclaimed a national holiday during one of the most trying times in our nation’s history: 1863, during the time of the Civil War. How did Thanksgiving come to be one of the most important celebrations in the United States? Let’s take a little trip back in history, shall we?:

It’s September 1620. A ship called the Mayflower leaves Plymouth, England. Religious liberty and a freedom to be landowners is at the forefront of the minds of its 102 passengers. This would not be an easy journey by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, these brave souls would endure some of the most treacherous conditions known to man. After a dangerous journey that spanned 66 days, they planted themselves near the edge of Cape Cod; their original plan was to arrive at the Hudson River. A month later, the passengers of the Mayflower would settle their own village at Plymouth.

The colonists aboard the Mayflower battled everything from freezing temperatures to outbreaks of horrible disease. Half of the group would succumb to disease before spring. In March of that year, the remaining crew reached land where they would be greeted by someone they certainly did not expect: an Abenaki Native American who would greet them in their native English.

After meeting the colonists, the Native American would leave them and return days later with another Native American. Some of you may have heard of him before. His name was Squanto. This meeting with Squanto would prove to be one of the most fruitful meetings in human history, for it gave the colonists the opportunity to learn how to grow their own crops, extract sap from maple trees, catch fish, and how to identify poisonous plants.

Why is Thanksgiving celebrated in November? Well, in November of 1621, after the colonists successfully harvested their first corn, Governor William Bradford organized a feast in which he invited Native Americans from various tribes to eat with the colonists. Additionally, at the height of the Civil War in 1863, Abraham Lincoln wanted to bring the country together. In his proclamation, he wanted all Americans to ask God to “commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife and to “heal the wounds of the nation”. He scheduled a Thanksgiving for the last Thursday in November.

While there are some Native Americans who strongly disagree with how the history and significance and Thanksgiving is taught to Americans due to the, oftentimes, violent history between Native Americans and European settlers, it is important to remember that through no time in human history has there ever been conflict between human beings. In fact, people engaging in violent conflict is well-documented. From the times of the Caesars to when the Scottish people fought for their freedom against the English crown, it was clear that, although leaders did their best to avoid armed conflict, bloodshed was unavoidable. The conflict between the Native Americans and European settlers was not an unusual occurrence. Human beings have fought amongst each other for centuries. What is important to remember is how peoples from completely different backgrounds were able to put their differences aside and come together to celebrate what they had in common: a mutual need for trade, land, negotiations, and yes, the absence of armed conflict. The survival and prosperity of their individual tribes was more important.

We are living in uncertain times. The outbreak of the Coronavirus has tested us as Americans, challenging the very ideals we so strongly hold in our hearts. This Thanksgiving, may we all take a moment to remember what brings us together, what we have in common and what values we all share as members of this great country. We have an opportunity to remind ourselves of what it truly means to be an American. It’s not something that we should ever take for granted.







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Why You Should Never Drive Your Car on Empty

How often have you driven your car and noticed the fuel light on? This is a signal that you need to refuel your vehicle. Many drivers think they can push their vehicles to the limit when it comes to fuel, only refueling at the last possible moment. We strongly advise against this. We’ll explain why.

When you drive your vehicle while the low-fuel indicator light is illuminated, your car is running on reserves (10-15%) of your fuel tank’s capacity. When you run your car during these situations, the fuel pump is not getting the necessary lubrication it needs to function at its optimum level. Over time, ignoring this may erode and/or overheat the engine. To put it plainly, the cost to fill up your gas pails in comparison to repairing your car’s engine. The dangers of a failing fuel pump may range from poor performance, to not accelerating properly, to not starting at all.

In addition, your car’s fuel pump has a filter, which can get dirty rather quickly if you drive on low fuel. Because any sediment or dirt sinks to the bottom of the fuel tank, the result could be blockage of the filter, thus resulting in a costly repair.

When you’re driving your car with the low-fuel indicator light on, you don’t have the time to comparison shop for the cheapest gas. Also, driving under these circumstances leaves you little choice than to stop at the nearest gas station.

If you want to avoid running out of gas in the future, keep your eyes on your fuel meter to make sure you’re not running too low. Remember, filling up more often may mean you’re spending money at the gas pump more often, but the overall cost each time will be less. An easy way to find cheap gasoline is by using smartphone apps. They can tell you if you’re close to a cheap gas station.

Another way to increase your fuel economy is by turning off your vehicle’s air conditioning system. This is especially important if you’re in dire straits of running out of gas.

Go easy on the gas pedal. Driving aggressively also takes a toll on your vehicle’s fuel economy. The faster you drive your car, the less efficient your car’s fuel economy will be. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, fast acceleration and constant braking can decrease your gas mileage from 15% to 30% at highway speeds. In bumper-to-bumper traffic, fuel economy drops from 10% to 40%.

Generally speaking, it’s best to keep your fuel tank above a quarter full in order to avoid the possibility of driving on what is considered to be low fuel. Again, driving on low fuel can lead to you being stranded, it can be damaging to your car’s engine, and can seriously hurt your wallet.

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Why It’s So Important to Have a Properly Functioning Smoke Detector

In an emergency situation, a properly-functioning smoke detector could mean the difference between life and death.

When it comes to protecting your family, you want to make sure you’re taking all of the necessary steps to ensure their safety. Smoke detectors are an important part of safety in a home. Their purpose is to detect and warn you of smoke inside your home.

Smoke detectors are usually very affordable and are available for purchase at most hardware and department stores. Having a smoke alarm installed in every room of your home accounts for the reduction of risk to life by 50%. Once started, smoke alarms immediately alert the closest fire department and can end up saving lives. Why risk precious time without a smoke alarm when the consequence is so harsh?

It’s not only important to install smoke alarms inside your home. Proper maintenance of these life-saving devices is equally as important, if not more so. A smoke alarm that does not work properly actually poses more of a threat than not having one at all because it gives you a false sense of security. It is possible to purchase smoke detectors that do not require batteries, but if you buy some that do require them, make sure to read the instructions on how to properly install them, so your smoke alarms can function properly.

Fires can start anywhere. Common causes of fires include: grease fires, electrical fires, fires caused by flammable liquids like gasoline, Christmas Tree fires, candles, smoking, space heaters, outdoor fires, and yes, children. It’s important to always keep an eye on your littles ones because, naturally, they are little explorers that will wander off anywhere once something sparks their curiosity. If your child wanders off out of your sight and accidently starts a fire, a smoke alarm may buy you valuable seconds to find them and remove them from a potentially harmful situation. Electrical fires tend to be extremely dangerous due to their ability to spread rapidly.

If you live in an apartment complex, it is especially important to have a properly functioning smoke detector. All types of smoke alarms need to be connected to the central grid of a buildings fire alarm, so if a smoke alarm goes off, it alerts the entire building of potential danger. The connection to the grid also has the ability to inform the authorities of the presence of the fire. Every second counts when lives are at stake. Not having a smoke detector that works gives you a false sense of a security and may lead to you not springing to action fast enough to get to safety in the event of a fire. Don’t take the chance. It’s not worth it.

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