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

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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

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

Seattle Seahawks: What’s the deal, literally?

After February, it has been a disheartening time for Seahawks fans. Arguably one of the worst play calls in NFL history, Seattle has never been so quiet in the late winter. Many diehard Seahawks fans planned to “hibernate” until next season. During this off-time, however, coach Pete Carroll seems unaffected, and his attitude likely transferred to the players. Coach has admitted he could not sleep ~2-3 days after the super bowl, but for such a devastating play that lasted 5 seconds, much coaches would suffer much longer.

Carroll’s attitude has not stuck with many Seahawks fans, since he is often blamed as the perpetrator of the play call. But again, his recovery period has shocked everyone. During the summer offseason, the Seahawks made a blockbuster trade with the Saints to acquire all-star tight end Jimmy Graham in exchange for Seahawk’s center Max Unger. While Graham will provide better offense, the Seahawk’s offensive line will suffer. Unger was the one of the best, most reliable center snappers in the NFC, and possibly in the NFL. Let’s be honest, the Seahawk’s offensive line is not very good, and without Unger, we are travelling in some deep waters. The Seahawk’s weak offensive line explains the reason for Marshawn Lynch’s physical running style– the offensive line is not mobile and tactful enough to block defensive targets, so Lynch’s only option is to run through them.

As a result of Lynch’s physical running style, it is harder on his body; this is why Lynch plans to end his career in Seattle after this year. Even after Lynch’s career, he seems to have an optimal lifestyle with his profitable “Beast Mode” clothing line and charitable funds for children in Oakland.

Jimmy Graham will provide excellent mid-field offense and red-zone availability, but again, without skilled linemen like Unger, the rush will be intensified and shortened for QB Russell Wilson. Speaking of Wilson, he just accepted a 4-year, $87.6 million extension with the Seahawks; this includes a $31 million signing bonus and ~$60 million of guaranteed money as of this morning.

When we ponder the phrase, “What’s the deal?” in the title, we do not question the talent and ability of the Seahawks. The Seahawks still undoubtedly remain one of the best teams in the NFL because of their speed, teamwork, size, and overall capability to win games (adapted from the common 12th man phrase: “Bigger Faster Stronger Louder”). The deal is literally translated as the money contracts, the extensions, and the requests from the Seahawks players.

Yes, we understand that most people could use extra money, but being a pro-athlete where you are already making a comfortable salary, is the money request really necessary? All this money talk puts a stamp on your talent and ability, but aren’t the Seahawks grounded on teamwork and helping another out? The contract bonuses and extensions seem to take away from the natural competitive drive of football, and it pressures other teammates to behave in a similar fashion.

Pete Carroll and John Schneider have satisfied most Seahawks fans, and this is because they are establishing long-term contracts for the faces of the Seahawk’s organization: Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch (and now Jimmy Graham), Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas III, Kam Chancellor, Bobby Wagner, and Michael Bennett.

Here is a comparison of the Seahawk’s recent contracts, by the numbers:

Russell Wilson: Just signed a 4-year, $87.6 million contract extension.

Earl Thomas III: Last year, signed a 4-year, $40 million contract.

Richard Sherman: Last year, signed a 4-year, $56 million contract.

Kam Chancellor: Currently requesting a new contract (boycotting Seahawk’s training camp practices), signed a 4-year, $28 million contract in 2013.

Marshawn Lynch: Just signed a 2-year, $24 million contract (contract might be altered– depends on how much longer he will stay before retirement)

Jimmy Graham: Acquired this year from the Saints, signed a 4-year, $40 million contract in 2014.

Bobby Wagner: Just signed a 4-year, $43 million contract extension.

Michael Bennett: Last year, signed a 4-year, $28.5 million contract.

Overall, the Seahawks are still one of the best teams in the NFL. However, it is important for the players to realize that a successful team does always not come from money. The 12th man is integral to the Seahawk’s success, and our fan base is unlike no other. Let’s keep it that way, and the players need to focus on the game– the 2015-16 season is almost a month away!

Have a different perspective or opinion? We would love to hear your questions, comments, and overall feedback. You can always contact us at Magnolia Insurance Agency.

Sincerely,

Magnolia Insurance

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

3424 W. McGraw St.

Seattle, WA 98199