March, 2023 | Boizelle Insurance Partnership

Drowsy Driving: How Dangerous Is It Really?

You may be of the opinion that just because you’re not under the influence of any drugs or alcohol, you are safe to drive. While drinking while driving or operating a motor vehicle after having consumed drugs is extremely dangerous, driving when you’re sleepy is also risky.

When you’re tired, your judgment is impaired. Such instances as slow reaction times, drifting from lane to lane, driving at dangerous fast or even slow speeds…this only puts you and others around you in more danger.

Every year, it is reported that drivers are involved in thousands of crashes related to drowsiness. While these incidents cost billions of dollars in damages and medical expenses, some of these incidents turn tragic, resulting in loss of life. Here’s what you can do to help prevent yourself from being involved in such a terrible situation.

In 2017, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that drowsy drivers caused 91,000 reported accidents to the police. Even more, in 2019, drowsy driving caused nearly 700 deaths.

According the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, being awake for 18 hours straight is the same as having a blood alcohol level of .05%. And being awake for 24 hours straight bumps that number all the way up to .1. The legal blood alcohol content level in most states is .08. And while it’s not illegal to drive while drowsy, if you do so, you are still putting yourself and other drivers on the road at serious risk of harm. Finally, the CDC reports that people who slept 6 hours or less each day were more likely to fall asleep behind the wheel.

Accidents can happen anytime, anywhere. It’s also true, however, that certain factors make it more likely for an incident like this to occur.

Crashes due to drowsy-driving occur most frequently between midnight and 6:00 AM—or in the late afternoon. This makes sense since this is also the time of day when our circadian rhythm, which regulates our sleeping patterns, falls.

Believe it or not, people driving alone are more likely to be involved in these kinds of crashes. Another finding is that these kinds of accidents typically involve the driver run their car off the road at high speeds without braking.

Rural roads and highways are the areas in which these types of accidents mostly occur.

According to the Sleep Foundation, symptoms of drowsy driving include daydreaming, realizing that you can’t remember the last several miles you traveled, missing a sign or an exit, tailgating, problems maintaining the speed limit, and restlessness, irritability, or aggressiveness.

If you want to avoid drowsy driving, there are a number of actions or measures you can take. First, get enough sleep. That’s pretty clear. If you’re planning a road trip, be sure to get a good night’s sleep the night before you leave. Alcohol consumption before or during driving a car is a big “no-no” and it’s illegal. Most everyone is already aware of this. What some people may pay less attention to is driving while under the influence of medications. Be sure to read the labels of your prescription bottles and consult your doctor before you decide to drive your car. Some medications may contribute to side effects that include sleepiness or drowsiness.

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15 Things You Should Be Familiar With For Your Home

  1. Electric panels. It’s important that you know the location of your home’s electrical panels in case you trip a circuit breaker. Usually, electrical panels are located in either a basement, garage, or utility closet. You should become familiar with how to operate the breaker box i.e. how to turn off the main circuit and the individual breakers. If your breakers are not labeled, take some time to turn off each breaker individually and label them according to which part of your home they provide power.

2.      Water shut-off valve. First, you need to locate the shut-off valve that is connected to the main water line that enters your home. If you have a basement, check along one of the outside walls to locate the valve. If you do not have a basement, check for the water shut-off valve at the ground level close to your hot water tank.


3.     Gas shut-off valve. Certain appliances in your home may be fueled by natural gas. These may include your water heater, fireplace, furnace, oven, dryer and more. In the event of a gas leak, you should know where to find the gas supply in your home so that you can quickly shut it off. Typically, the main gas shut-off valve is outside your home near the gas meter. Most importantly, if you suspect your home has a gas leak, immediately vacate the premises and call 911.

4.     Dryer vent. Dryers cause approximately 15,500 home fires, 29 deaths, 400 injuries and $192 million in property loss every year. To prevent this from happening to you, clean the lint from your dryer regularly.

5.      Sewer or septic lines. If you ever experience a major plumbing problem in your home, knowing where your sewer and septic systems are located is a huge help. If your home is connected to a city sewer system, locate where your main sewer line exits your home and check for a cleanout valve. If you have an older home, it may be best to have your sewer system replaced. For septic systems, you’ll need to know where the access points to your tank are and any inspection ports.


  1. Well location. If you have a home that is not connected to a city water supply, you need to know the location of your well. Depending on how your home is designed, it could be located inside your home in a crawlspace or basement. If you can’t find it inside, check your yard for a well cap, casing or pit. Knowing the location of your well can help speed up the process of repairs in the event of an emergency.


  1. Meter locations. Each utility service for your home has its own meter. Once you locate them, be sure to clean the areas around them well, so that you can access them later if you need to.


  1. Furnace filters. Filters help keep the air around you clean and safe to breathe. Your furnace will run more smoothly if it’s clean. Filters should be replaced every 30 to 90 days.


  1. Crawlspace and attic access. These areas may be different in every home. While some may provide access to utilities and appliances, others may just be empty. Still, empty spaces should never be ignored for long periods of time. Rodents and other animals could creep into these tiny spaces, and, if you’re not diligent, could chew through wiring inside your home. This kind of damage could result in a costly insurance claim.



  1. Sprinkler system. Take the time to understand how your sprinkler system works. During colder months, take the time to winterize your pipes and hose bibs to prevent freezing and bursting.


  1. Smoke alarms. You should have a functioning smoke alarm on every floor of your home. Test them regularly to make sure they are working. Smoke detectors should be replaced every 10 years.


  1. Property lines. Use a metal detector to find the stakes where your property lines are buried. You’ll want to do this sooner rather than later, especially before you begin any elaborate projects for your home. You don’t want your neighbors to get you involved in a nasty property dispute.



  1. Sump pump. Test your sump pump a few times a year to make sure it’s functioning properly. Do this by pouring water into the sump pit until the pump turns on.


  1. Gutters and downspouts. Clogged gutters and downspouts can spell disaster for the interior of your home. Test any underground drains with a garden hose to check for clogs. Be sure to clean the lines or to redirect water away from your home.


15. Your chimney should be inspected at least once a year to protect against fire and carbon monoxide.

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What You Should Know About ERIE’s Extended Water Coverage

In the event of a sewer or drain backup, or from flooding such as inland flooding, tidal water, storm surge, or mudflow and mudslide, you can rest assured that with ERIE’s Extended Water coverage endorsement, you will be protected. By adding this endorsement to your homeowners insurance policy, your home and garage will be protected. Additionally, your other structures and personal property are protected by this endorsement. Other structures refers to structures other than the dwelling (your house) such as a fence, a detached garage, an in-ground swimming pool, or a gazebo.

Flood insurance may be obtained through FEMA. Floods can cause serious damage to homes and can also displace families for extended periods of time. When you have the Extended Water coverage endorsement, the costs of the following will be covered:

  • Basements and other rooms
  • Water backups from sewers and drains
  • Repair and replacement costs for your home and personal property
  • Flood avoidance reimbursement (up to $10,000)
  • Temporary relocation costs i.e. a hotel or short-term rental

Why Do I Need Extended Water Coverage?

Flooding can happen to anyone. A typical homeowners insurance policy does not cover flooding.

Many homeowners make the assumption that, because they do not live in an area that is considered “high-risk” for floods, they overlook this coverage, thinking it’s not a necessary expense. Did you know that over a quarter of flood claims come from individuals living outside of high-risk areas? A lot of people underestimate the amount of damage that water can do to their home. In fact, a single inch of water has the capacity to inflict over $25,000 in costly home repairs. That could spell financial ruin for many.

Flooding can cause astronomical damage and costs to homeowners. And, the truth is that only three inches of water can completely destroy baseboards and drywall inside a home. In order to ensure your protection and financial well-being, adding Extended Water coverage with ERIE to your homeowners insurance policy is an sure-fire way to do just that.

Taking necessary preparation steps before something bad happens will help you maintain your peace of mind in a crisis. Call us at 301-948-2010 to discuss adding Extended Water coverage to your home policy now!

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Here’s What to Look for When Comparing Auto Insurance Quotes

Whether you’re watching television or surfing the internet, it’s not uncommon to come across a commercial or ad promoting car insurance. Additionally, it’s commonplace to be hit with the all-too-familiar message: “If you switch to our company, you’ll save more on your car insurance.”

Being in the business of selling auto insurance, we understand that price plays an important role when determining which car insurance plan is right for you. However, something that a lot of people overlook is the fact that considering pricing alone leaves you exposed and vulnerable to other issues when you need it most. And, that’s the thing. We want to ensure that you are always properly and sufficiently covered, so that no matter what happens, you can go on living your life with peace of mind.

Coverage is an essential piece of an auto insurance plan. There are certain coverages that may be required due the law specifications of the state in which you live. For example, basic bodily injury and property damage liability coverage is a coverage that is required by law. Other coverages that may be required by state law include collision, comprehensive, and uninsured motorist coverage. The amount of coverage you select for each protection will determine your policy premium, what you are required to pay.

Not all insurance plans carry the same coverages. An auto policy with ERIE includes coverages for pets, personal items, and locksmiths at no additional charge. Roadside Service can be added to your auto policy for just a few more dollars each month.

Your deductible is the amount of money you agree to pay out of your own pocket before you insurance plan kicks in to cover the remaining costs. The higher your deductible is, the lower your annual insurance premium will be. Take some time to choose the right deductible for you. Consider your budget when choosing your deductible. If you add the ERIE Auto Plus endorsement to your plan, your deductible can be reduced by $100 each year you are claim-free.

We are an independent insurance agency that has been in business since 1957. When you call us, you are immediately connected to a real, live, person. You don’t have to suffer through anything automated when working with us over the phone. We understand that your time is valuable. That’s why we prioritize personal service for each client with assist.

An opportunity to save money in any situation is always appealing, isn’t it? When you bundle policies with ERIE, you could be eligible for a multi-policy discount, saving yourself up to 20% (depending on the state in which you reside). Discounts are also available for safe driving, if your car has certain safety equipment, if you have multiple cars, young drivers, as well as making annual payments.

As stated above, we understand that cost does ultimately play a role in your decision. Getting multiple quotes can help you gain the peace of mind you desire and deserve, knowing that you are getting the best value. ERIE offers something called the ERIE Rate Lock feature which allows you to maintain the same costs to your insurance. Even if you file a claim on your auto insurance policy, your insurance rate will not be affected. The only way your insurance rate will change is if you add or remove a vehicle, add or a remove a driver to your policy, or change your address.



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