Driving Ms. Daisy

7 Signs That Your Parents Shouldn’t Be Driving

After experiencing the freedom of driving, few like the idea of depending on others or public transportation to transport themselves.  However there comes a time when it is much more safe for the parent and others on the road to look at alternative means of transportation.  Here are some warning signs to look out for.

1.TOO MANY NEAR MISSES – We all experience close calls while driving, but these should be rare occurrences. If you are afraid your parents can’t keep their mind on the traffic, it’s a strong indication that the driving should stop.

2.  DIFFICULTY TURNING TO CHECK TRAFFIC – Defensive drivers need to be aware of surrounding traffic, especially when parking a vehicle, making lane changes or looking out for bike riders.

3. LOSING THEIR  WAY – Anyone can get lost, but if this becomes a pattern, it may signal memory loss

4. SLOW RESPONSES – Drivers must be able to quickly respond to sudden changes, in traffic, pedestrians, bike riders and react to emergency situations.

5.  HAVING A BADLY BATTERED CAR – Noticed a growing number of dings and dents on your parents car?

6.  DRIVING ANGRY – An inability to cope with the normal frustrations of driving without a loss of temper could indicate that your parent is no longer mentally fit to drive.

7.  TOO MANY TICKETS – If your parents are cited frequently, you need to find out why.

QUESTIONING YOUR PARENTS ABILITY TO DRIVE CAN BE A CHALLENGING CONVERSATION TO HAVE.  THESE ARE THE THREE THINGS THAT AARP RECOMMENDS:

**  Get the facts and learn the warning signs
** Educate yourself so that you are prepared
** Prepare for and initiate a thoughtful  conversation

If you see the warning signs, it may be time to involve your parents’ doctor.  Sometimes problems can be corrected.  If poor vision is a hindrance, perhaps your parents can limit driving to daylight hours.  If poor health has diminished their abilities, they may be able to get back behind the wheel after treatment.  At times, a doctor will recommend that driving should be stopped altogether.

A refresher course in driver safety can reinforce good driving skills, teach new ones, and help change driving habits.  These classes may offer tips on how to improve awareness and avoid collisions.

As always, please feel free to call my office and discuss any concerns that you have.   We are happy to help you determine the course of action to take, alternatives that seem reasonable and compassionate and look for overall solutions of protecting the safety of the senior driver as well as others on the road.

Any questions? Please let us know at Magnolia Insurance Agency.

Sincerely,

Magnolia Insurance

3424 W McGraw St
Seattle, WA 98199

(206) 284-4886

Seattle Drivers: One of the worst

Car accidents are not uncommon in Seattle. In fact, most of us see them every day on our daily commute to work. Unfortunately, car accidents have become part of Seattle driving. The rate of accidents have become so bad in recent years that Seattle now ranks a pathetic 184th among 200 U.S. cities in ones ability to avoid crashing into one another.

For over 20 years of keeping this data, this year’s ranking marks Seattle’s worst performance ever. We have dropped to the bottom 20 cities, down from 173rd last year.

Have Seattle drivers ever been good for one year? Our best year was in 2010, when Seattle ranked 128th out of 200.

Data from Allstate Insurance claims that current Seattle drivers go just 6.9 years between car accidents, and are 40.7% more likely to get in an accident than the average American driver.

Seattle is not the only Washington city in the mix. Bellevue, almost just as bad, ranks 174th out of 200 for avoiding car accidents, and lasts a mere average 7.1 years between car accidents. Overall, both Seattle and Bellevue rank in the bottom 15th percentile for collisions. Below Seattle and Bellevue include Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Gelndale (CA), Providence (RI), Springfield (MA), Washington (D.C.), Baltimore, Worcester (MA), and Boston (at the bottom). The safest city to drive in is Kansas City, averaging 13.3 years between accidents. Below Kansas city include Brownsville (TX) (~13.2 years), and Boise (13.1 years) respectively. The safest northwest cities to drive in include Biose, Eugene, Spokane and Vancouver. The most dangerous in the northwest are Salem, Tacoma, Bellevue, Portland, and Seattle. Unfortunately, Boston remains the most dangerous city to drive in the nation, where a motorist averages 3.9 years before a crash.

As a result of this data, it is important that you are properly insured with a suitable auto insurance policy. By contacting Magnolia Insurance, we can assist you to find the right auto package for a stress-free driving experience that is protected.

Sincerely,

Magnolia Insurance

magnoliainsurance@comcast.net | (206) 284-4886

3424 W. McGraw St.

Seattle, WA 98199

Sources: The Seattle Times, Allstate Insurance

What? You sell life insurance?

When it comes to insurance, many customers confuse health insurance with life insurance.  Or they assume that life insurance is a separate entity and is sold at special insurance companies.  The truth is that many agencies sell life insurance, including us!  Remember, as oppose to health insurance (which covers medical bills) life insurance is your gift to designated beneficiaries.  Life insurance is designed to cover expenses once a loved one has passed away (i.e.:  Mortgage, college , debts, child care, etc.)  Or it can be used to leave a tax free gift to your heirs.

 At Magnolia Insurance Agency, our agents make life insurance easy, simple, clear and understandable.  We will do a need analysis to determine the best type and amount of life insurance for your family, and allow you options that will fit your budget.

 At Magnolia Insurance Agency, we believe your life insurance policy is fluid and should be updated  regularly as the needs in your life change.  Some of the life transformations that may require a policy purchase or “tune up” include:

  • You recently married or divorced
  • You have a new child or grandchild
  • You have opened or expanded a business
  • Your health or your spouse’s health has deteriorated
  • You are providing care or financial assistance to a parent
  • Your child or grandchild requires assistance or long-term care
  • You recently purchased a new home
  • You are planning for a child or grandchild’s education
  • You are concerned about retirement income
  • You have refinanced your home mortgage in the past six months
  • You or your spouse recently received an inheritance
  • You have a sizable estate

If you are interested in investing in life insurance, contact us at Magnolia Insurance Agency, and we can help find the right policy for you.  We hope you have a great day and enjoy the summer while  it is still here!   

Sincerely,

Magnolia Insurance

magnoliainsurance@comcast.net | (206) 284-4886

3424 W. McGraw St.

Seattle, WA 98199

Curious about that collision-avoidance technology in cars these days?

In many of today’s advertisements, car companies are marketing innovative accident-avoidance technology in their cars, which includes instant (automatic) braking via detectable radars. According to an article by “Auto Guide”, “These systems work with a combination of lasers, radar or cameras, to detect objects in front of a vehicle. If a crash is deemed imminent, the vehicle will grab the brakes automatically to avoid a collision or at least mitigate the effect of the crash.” Even better, having such technology in your car will reduce your likelihood of car accidents, and ultimately keep your auto insurance premiums low.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) ran a test of 19 new cars with front-crash avoidance systems to the test. 14 of the 19 cars earned a “Superior” rating, which are vehicles that have an auto brake system that can avoid a crash or substantially reduce speeds in both tests. 5 of the 19 cars earned an “Advanced” rating, which are vehicles that musthave auto brake and avoid a crash or reduce speeds by at least 5 mph.

Superior car models included: 2016 Acura ILX, MDX, RDX and RLX; 2016 BMW X3; 2015 Chrysler 300 and its twin, the 2015 Dodge Charger; 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class (both Collision Prevention Assist Plus and Pre-Safe Brake equipped versions), CLA (both Collision Prevention Assist Plus and Distronic Plus equipped versions) and E-Class; and the 2016 Mazda 6 and CX-5.

Advanced car models were: 2016 Volkswagen Golf, Golf SportWagen, Jetta and 2015 Volkswagen Touareg. The BMW X3 is rated an Advanced with the camera-only system called City Braking Function, while adding the camera- and radar-based system bumps it up to Superior.

While most of these technologies belong to upscale cars, there are still more reasonable options. The Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, Mazda6 and CX-5 are all better priced with superior braking systems.

Overall, this technology has been greatly on the rise. 27% of cars today offer some form of automatic braking, up from 12% in 2012.  There is also warning crash technology, which does not relate to the automatic braking, which is in more than 50% of all cars on the market today.

Sources: http://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/2015/08/front-crash-prevention-systems-better-than-ever-iihs.html, http://www.iihs.org/iihs/news/desktopnews/iihs-issues-first-crash-avoidance-ratings-under-new-test-program-7-midsize-vehicles-earn-top-marks-for-front-crash-prevention

While the person behind the wheel plays the most important role in driving quality, these are nice luxuries that are worth investing in. For the safety of the passengers and yourself, consider investing in this technology for your next (or first) automobile. Plus, this technology can reduce your likelihood of paying higher auto insurance premiums and stay out of accidents more often. Overall, this is a long-term benefit, and while insurance is our specialty, we want you to have fun with your friends and family out on the road.

Questions, comments, concerns? Contact us at Magnolia Insurance Agency.

Sincerely,

Magnolia Insurance

magnoliainsurance@comcast.net | (206) 284-4886

3424 W. McGraw St.

Seattle, WA 98199

Eastern Washington Wildfires — What is going on?

The past couple weeks, wildfires have spread voraciously across eastern Washington State. Starting in Lake Chelan, the wildfires have killed three firefighters, and injured many. While many homeowners have been forced to leave their homes (level 3 evacuation = leave now), some refuse to lose their property and stand their ground. Even here in Seattle, we have witnessed the smoky haze that has blown over from the North Cascades.

The issue with the wildfires is how fast they are spreading. Currently, there are between 8-9 fires. On NPR this morning, only ~10% of the fires have been extinguished.

The other concern is the duration of these fires. Back on June 30th, we posted a blog regarding the wildfires in Eastern Washington. While fires were a large concern (this was when Washington experienced heat in the mid-90’s), they likely did not get sufficient suppression by the firefighters. Or, new fires have arisen since.

Either way, the latest winds have created hotter, more dynamic fire conditions. According to the Seattle Times, 630,000 acres have burned throughout Eastern Washington already. Most firefighters say the haze, smoke, and heat combination is do dreadful that they have to feel their way around.

Firefighters are employing new tactics, including creating fire lines that mark boundaries and “pre-soak” shrubbery to prevent fires from spreading any further. The fires have become so huge that Washington has called in the National Guard. National Guard Blackhawk helicopters have flown in fro Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, and Minnesota. The fires, however, have been so dense that helicopters have been unable to reach local operations bases, particularly in the Okanogan complex of five fires.

On Sunday, more robust winds have came through– 200 homes have been burned, more than 12,000 buildings are under threat, and the Okanogan complex of blazes has surpassed 244,000 acres, requiring over 1,000 firefighter personnel in that area alone.Currently, there is more than 1,000 miles of active fire in the Okanagan complex.

There are now ~700 members of the Washington national guard working with local firefighters to suppress the blaze.

Some other numbers:

  • The Carpenter Road fire in Stevens County grew to more than 35,000 acres. It is spreading to the Spokane Indian Reservation.
  • Firefighters are averaging 3 hours of sleep a night. Overall, the fire is turning into a marathon. Hopefully when winds die down and temperatures drop, the fires will dampen.

Another concern of the wildfires has come from spending.

Recently, Eastern Washington was granted $5.7 million to buy 10 new fire engines and hire crews. Lots of the US Forest Service budget, however, has been eaten up by firefighting expenses. According to the Seattle Times, in 2015, this year’s wildfire costs will consumer more than half the agency’s budget. Now, fire agencies are undergoing a practice called “fire borrowing”, in which the Forest Service is raiding other fire service programs to assist in the nearby fires. Overall, there has been over $73.6 million requested by the state Department of Natural Resources for total firefighting funding, $42.9 million requested for fire suppression, $20 million for forest health, and $10.7 million for budget for attack (crew/equipment).

Over 20 years, the cost of wildfires has increased drastically. According to the USDA, back in 1995, only 16% of the US Forest Service’s annual budget went to wildfires. Now in 2015, it is at 52%. In 2025, the projected percentage will be expected at 67%.

Source: The Seattle Times

We hope you have a fun (and safe) summer. Stay away from those wildfires, and we honor every firefighter who is sacrificing his life every day to save the homes and lives of many.

Sincerely,

Magnolia Insurance

Sincerely,

Magnolia Insurance

magnoliainsurance@comcast.net | (206) 284-4886

3424 W. McGraw St.

Seattle, WA 98199

Running and the Runner’s High: Truth, or Myth?

Many of us have experienced running, either in the most glorious of times or in the worst of times. Running helps us get to places on time if we are late, it sometimes makes us feel better, and it overall seems to have positive effects on our lives.

Running can also be negatively viewed, being torturous exercise on the legs and body, hard on the knees, and does not always feel so good!

The question we must examine is if the runner’s high is real. In case you do not know what this feeling is, you can find it here:

http://www.wikihow.com/Get-a-Runner’s-High

After examining a WebMD article, it states that while endorphins and the natural release of dopamine plays a slight role in this “high” feeling, the rhythmic aspect and duration of the run plays a larger role. Probably the biggest factor the author noted was the repetition of exercise. Chief science officer Cedric Bryant (PhD for the American Council on Exercise) states that by repeating running (or any other aerobic exercise) on a normal basis, you can perform in a repetitive rhythmic fashion, and that seems to produce the “high” effect.

Bryant continues:

“Whatever sport you choose, another piece of good news is that you don’t have to push your limits to reap a reward. The other thing that is encouraging is that workouts don’t have to be overly strenuous to produce this [high] effect,” “Most research has looked at running and cycling and so forth, but when you look at some of the studies that have been done in the clinical environment, the key is being active for 30 minutes or more at a moderate intensity level to see some of these beneficial psychological outcomes.”

Source: http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/runners-high-is-it-for-real?page=1

Overall, we can conclude that runner’s high is not necessarily a drug but more so the ACT of repeating physical movement on a standard basis.

Be good to yourself and get your runner’s high today! Weather in Seattle is looking ideal for the next 10 days (cloudy, cool(er)) to be outisde– so get out and have fun!

Sincerely,

Magnolia Insurance

magnoliainsurance@comcast.net | (206) 284-4886

3424 W. McGraw St.

Seattle, WA 98199

Is Marshawn Lynch opening up?

It looks like Marshawn Lynch might be approaching his last year as a running back. Also known as Beast Mode, Lynch continues to perform better than ever, getting his longest touchdown run of his career last season (79 yard run, known as Beast Quake 2.0), and still performing as one of the top 5 tier running backs in the NFL for total rushing yards and average carry per rush.

Apart from Beast Mode’s sheer running skills and capabilities, one of his biggest pet peeves is the infiltration of the media. We all saw last season and the previous, cameras and reporters putting up microphones and not able to get a response. However, during the 2015 Super Bowl, we saw a little change when Skittles interviewed Marshawn Lynch:

Perhaps the interviewers asked clever and funny questions they were able to get responses from Beast Mode. But more likely, Skittles fuel the running back, and without them, he might not be with us today.

However, after this commercial, Conan O’ Brian was able to get Marshawn on his show several weeks later:

Even better, Conan set up a mini-end zone full of Skittles for Marshawn Lynch to jump into:

On a side note, Lynch did make a special appearance for a Japanese TV station in 2014, trying various Japanese candies:

Whether it was the Skittles, Conan, or clever interview tactics, Marshawn Lynch has undoubtedly opened up to the media since previous seasons. He enjoys spending time with the family, kicking back, and not dealing with a large audience. Ultimately, no one will determine what Lynch will do — if it’s all about that action, that is all that matters for Seahawk fans.

What do you think about Beast Mode and his recent openness to the media? You can let us know by contacting Magnolia Insurance Agency.

Sincerely,

Magnolia Insurance

magnoliainsurance@comcast.net | (206) 284-4886

3424 W. McGraw St.

Seattle, WA 98199