Lallis and Higgins Blog

What To Do After a Car Accident

- Monday, January 25, 2021

Whether you've gotten into a fender bender or totaled your car, accidents are scary. No matter the cause – weather and road conditions, irresponsible driving behavior, or something unforeseen – you should be prepared for any possibility. Even the most careful drivers can be involved in an accident, which is why we've provided these nine tips to help you get through an accident safely:

Check yourself and any passengers for injuries.

If you don't know whether a particular injury is serious, call 911 just in case.

Remain calm.

This one is easier said than done, but try to remain calm and take deep breaths to keep a clear head during this experience – there may be details you'll need to remember later you'll only recall if you were calm. If the accident was caused by another party, try to keep your cool and be polite.

Get moving.

If the accident was minor, move all cars involved to a safe place out of traffic. If the accident was more serious but you seem well enough to move, bring yourself and any other people involved to the side of the road, away from oncoming traffic. However, if you doubt the well-being of yourself or someone else involved, LEAVE THEM THERE. It may sound counter-intuitive, but moving someone while they're in a fragile state can cause even more harm – let the professionals handle the situation as they see fit.

If you doubt the well-being of yourself or someone else involved, be sure to alert emergency officials and follow their advice if it's to leave them there! Moving someone while they're in a fragile state can cause even more harm.

Take proper safety precautions.

Turn on your hazard lights and, if you have them, use cones to mark off the area. Carrying emergency flares in your trunk is a great idea to ensure that people can see you in the event of an accident.

Call the police.

Once everyone involved is as safe as they can be, call the police and inform them of the accident. For accidents like a fender bender, you're probably better off calling the non-emergency line in your area. If any kind of serious collision occurred, call 911 as soon as you can to make a full report and get the help you need.

Take a picture.

If you can, snap a few photos of each of the cars involved, including the license plate. This will protect you against fraudulent claims from the other people affected.

Exchange information.

Collect as much information as you can about the other parties involved, including the driver's name, address, phone number, insurance company, policy number, driver's license number and license plate number. If you feel that you caused the accident, do not claim fault with the other party - it makes things more difficult for you later!

Stay put.

No one should leave the scene of the accident until the police have arrived and you have filed a report. In most states, it's actually illegal to leave the scene of an accident, so stay where you are and wait for further instruction from the authorities.

Notify your insurance provider.

Report a claim with Lallis & Higgins Insurance, find your insurance carrier here or call 781-561-9031 for further assistance.

Stay safe out there and be prepared for whatever comes your way.

Source: foremost.com


Helpful Tips for New Drivers

- Monday, January 18, 2021
Lallis & Higgins Insurance, Quincy, Weymouth, MA

If you have a teen that just passed their driver's test or are currently in driver's education, remember that this moment is an important, life-changing accomplishment for them. Even though you won't be physically by their side when they're behind the wheel, you can still offer them your support and driving wisdom beforehand.

According to the CDC, vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the U.S. It's scary and the last thing you want to imagine, so it's important to make sure they're truly prepared for driving.

Thankfully, you can guide your teen to ensure their driving experience is as safe as possible with these helpful tips:

  • Follow the speed limit. I t's an obvious one. But when you go too fast, you have less time to stop or react. Speeding is one of the leading causes of teenage accidents. Another obvious and important reminder – always wear your seatbelt! According to the CDC, wearing a seat belt can lower the risk of death in car accidents by nearly 50%.
  • Make sure your seat is adjusted properly to your height. This is very important because if you can't see through your rear view mirror, it can affect your driving. A good way to tell if the mirror is in the right spot is if you can see the headlights of the car behind you. Also, make sure to adjust your door mirrors on the drivers and passenger side.
  • Keep that windshield clean. Keeping your car clean isn't just about style. In the morning and evening, light reflecting off a dirty windshield can temporarily blind you while you're driving.
  • Always check your blind spot. Thoughtlessly changing lanes can lead to a dangerous situation, especially with smaller vehicles like motorcycles.
  • Use your turn signals. Whether you're turning or changing lanes, you need to give the car behind you enough time to react.
  • Be cautious for aggressive drivers. If you do encounter an angry driver, back off and give them space on the road. The best thing is to stay calm to avoid getting into an accident with this person, or another driver on the road.
  • Don't use cruise control in the rain or snow. Using this feature during heavy rain, snow or ice can cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
  • Keep your hands on the wheel, and off your cell phone! Texting and driving has become the number one distraction for teens and adults. A text isn't worth anyone's life, and each time you take your eyes off the road, you put yourself and others at risk. Another reason to keep your eyes on your phone – you will get a ticket! According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, 47 states have banned text messaging for drivers. If you get caught, you may get slapped with a big fine, and get points on your driving record. A good way to avoid this is to keep your phone in a place that you can't reach while you're driving.

For the first few weeks, it might be a good idea to have your teen start off with small trips that are less than five miles away. It will help build confidence, and allow them to get more comfortable with driving alone. If you're still nervous, there are other options you can look into, such as a GPS tracking device or smartphone apps that will monitor location and driving speeds. Plus, larger automakers have actually installed systems in their new models that allow parents to set limits on speed and drive time, so keep an eye out for those.

Source: foremost.com


Preparing for Winter Driving – How to Drive in Snow and Ice

- Friday, January 08, 2021
Lallis & Higgins Insurance - Car Insurance

The three key elements to safe winter driving are:

  • Stay alert;
  • Slow down; and
  • Stay in control

It is best to winterize your vehicle before winter strikes. Schedule a maintenance check-up for the vehicle's tires and tire pressure, battery, belts and hoses, radiator, oil, lights, brakes, exhaust system, heater/defroster, wipers and ignition system. Keep your gas tank sufficiently full - at least half a tank is recommended. Depending upon where you drive, you may consider using winter tires or tire chains.

Winter driving conditions such as rain, snow, and ice dramatically affect the braking distance of a vehicle. The driver's capability to complete a smooth and safe stop is severely limited due to reduced tire traction. In order to stop safely, the vehicle's wheels must maintain traction by remaining on contact with the road surface while rolling, referred to as "rolling traction." When handling slippery winter roads, the keys to safety are slower speeds, gentler stops and turns, and increased following distances. It is recommended that drivers reduce their speed to half the posted speed limit or less under snowy road conditions.

Don't try to stretch more miles from your tires during the winter months. If your tread depth is getting low, it can have serious effects on dry pavement, but those effects are multiplied in wet and snowy conditions. When in doubt, get new tires.

Tire pressure usually lowers itself in winter and raises itself in summer. Under-inflated tires can cause a car to react more slowly to steering. Every time the outside temperature drops ten degrees, the air pressure inside your tires goes down about one or two PSI. Tires lose air normally through the process of permeation. Drivers should check their tire pressures frequently during cold weather, adding enough air to keep themat recommended levels of inflation at all times.

Sand and salt play a big role in keeping roads safe. The spreading of road salt prevents snow and ice from bonding to the road surface, which is why salt is usually spread early in a storm to prevent snow build-up and to aid in snow removal operations.

Unlike salt, sand does not melt and therefore helps by providing traction on slippery surfaces. Sand is often used when temperatures are too low for salt to be effective or at higher temperatures for immediate traction, particularly on hills, curves, bridges, intersections and on snow-packed roads.

Caution must be used when snowplows are on the roadways as snowplows and salt and sand trucks travel much slower than regular traffic. Passing a snowplow can be extremely dangerous as sight lines and visibility near a working snowplow are severely restricted by blowing snow.

Roads are typically cooler in shady areas and drivers may encounter another extremely dangerous element known as "black ice." Always slow down your vehicle when you see shady areas under these types of conditions.

Here are some safe-driving tips that will help you when roads are slick with ice or snow:

  • Get the feel of 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 at least three times sooner than you normally would when turning or stopping.
  • Equip your vehicle with chains or snow tires. Chains are by far the most effective, and they should be used where ice and snow remain on the roadway. Remember that snow tires will slide on ice or packed snow so keep your distance.
  • 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. Every city block and every mile of highway may be different, depending upon sun or shade and the surface of the roadway. (Check your vehicle owner's manual, if the vehicle has anti-lock brakes, you may apply steady pressure to the brake pedal.)
  • Maintain a safe interval between you and the car ahead of you according to the conditions of the pavement. Many needless rear-end crashes occur on icy streets because drivers forget to leave stopping space.
  • Keep your vehicle in the best possible driving condition. The lights, tires, brakes, windshield wipers, defroster, and radiator are especially important for winter driving.
  • Keep your windows clear. Don't start driving until the windows are defrosted and clean - even if you're only going a short distance.
  • Watch for danger or slippery spots ahead. Ice may remain on bridges even though the rest of the road is clear. Snow and ice also stick longer in shaded areas.

Correctly operating windshield wipers and defrosters are essential to safety while driving in snow and ice conditions. Properly maintained windshield wipers are a must; there are also special blades available that are better equipped to assist in the removal of snow from the windshield. Defroster effectiveness is essential in the initial clearing of snow and ice from the windshield - and in some instances the rear window when a vehicle is so equipped - and should be checked well in advance of need. In certain cases, a change of the vehicle thermostat will restore appropriate heat to the defroster system.


RV insurance: Winter Storage Steps

- Tuesday, January 05, 2021
Lallis & Higgins Insurance - RV Insurance

Helpful steps to storing your RV during the cold months

As you get ready to park your RV for the winter after an enjoyable season on the road keep in mind these important storage steps:

  • Wash and wax your vehicle to prevent dust or dirt buildup.
  • Disconnect the battery. If the RV is stored in a harsh climate take the battery out and store it in a more moderate, climate-controlled area.
  • Use pads to park your rig with the tires off the ground to prevent soft spots.
  • Turn off pilot lights and turn off the propane at the source.
  • Drain all water from your rig including hot and fresh water tanks, and all hot and cold lines.
  • Turn the refrigerator off, defrost and wipe it dry. Leave the door propped open a little bit so air can circulate.
  • Seal all outside openings to prevent critters from taking up residence inside.
  • Use a breathable cover to avoid condensation forming between the cover and RV, or park it inside a garage or facility. Consult an RV dealer on where to purchase a cover.
  • A few hours of preparation can save you a huge amount of hassle in the long run – and get you back on the road when the season changes and pleasant weather returns.

Need RV Insurance?

Make sure you have RV insurance coverage specialized for your RV. Contact Lallis & Higgins Insurance.

Source: foremost.com



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