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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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

Summer Options: Want a Boat?

As with most Seattle summers, boating is one of the most desirable things to do. Almost every day on Lake Washington you will see a boat going 25+ mph tugging a water skier, inter tuber, or just going for a booze cruise. Have you ever wondered: “Man I would really like to have a boat out here too!” We are here to answer that question.

To make a boating experience truly enjoyable, you should not need to worry about your safety and protection of others. In other words, similar to motor vehicles, investing in a boat demands insurance protection. Here are some things to consider when investing in boat insurance:

  • Navigation and Geography: How far will your boat travel on a day-to-day basis? What is your boat’s “coverage”? Some insurance plans vary on the amount of ground they allow a boat to travel.
  • Agreed Value Coverage: By having this insurance coverage, it maintains the value you bought the boat for (similar to cars, boats tend to depreciate in value over time), so if your boat happens to get stolen or vandalized, this policy will cover you boats full value, minus your personal deductible.
  • Liability Coverage: In case of an accident, boat liability covers other boaters or boats that get damaged if you are accused of causing the accident. Boating liability is an essential pillar of boat insurance, since it not only covers the physical restoration/replacement costs of over boats, but the property and assets of other boat passengers as well.
  • Medical Payment Coverage: Another pillar of boating insurance, medical payments cover the physical health and well-being of your passengers (if there is accident in your boat) and other boating passengers (if your boat caused accident in another boat– covers both personal and liability options).
  • Physical Damage Coverage: In case your boat watercraft, engine, seats, or other equipment in the boat gets stolen or damaged, this plan will replace it.
  • Uninsured/Under insured Boaters: Boat insurance is optional (but highly recommended!!!), and some boats are not covered/protected. Some boat insurance policies have uninsured watercraft protection, which protects you and your passengers if you are hit by an uninsured boat.
  • Fuel Spills/Sinking (S.O.S.!): Sometimes the worst can happen. If your boat engine leaks fuel into the water or starts to sink, this can cause very problematic legal and environmental issues. As a boat owner, you are lawfully required to clean up this mess. Make this job easy on yourself by opting for this insurance coverage (known as “Fuel Spill Liability” or “Wreckage Removal”).
  • Personal Asset Protection: Some boat insurance policies are so specific that it can even cover your smaller, personal assets that you have in the boat, such as jewelry, phones, wallets, clothes, swim equipment, and other small items. These limits can vary by state, so talk with your local insurance provider to find out this information.
  • Unattached Equipment Coverage: This plan protects items that are not physically attached to the boat, but are used mostly on the boat– water skis, inter tubes, fishing equipment, oars, and fire extinguishers are several examples of unattached equipment coverage.
  • Emergency Assistance: In case you boat breaks down in the middle of a body of water, this pays for emergency towing, fuel refills, loaned batteries, etc. Furthermore, this is the coverage for “disabled” boats.

While there are many options to choose from for boat insurance, the best ones to consider are those covering the health and safety of you, your boat, your passengers, other boats, and other boating passengers. More importantly, if you are investing in a boat, you can call us at Magnolia Insurance Agency, and we can get you to find the most suitable, appropriate, and affordable boat insurance coverage. Once the insurance is squared away, you can have as much fun as you want on the water– we have you covered!

Sincerely,

Magnolia Insurance

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

3424 W. McGraw St.

Seattle, WA 98199

Independence Day: Can I set off fireworks this year? Firework safety, notices, regulations, awareness

Are you getting excited for this weekend? Fourth of July is a very exciting time filled with traveling, socializing, barbecues, games, family and friend events, and fireworks. Since Independence Day is on a Saturday this year, many will likely be traveling on Friday (keep in mind this weekend’s traffic!), or will take the time to setup an immaculate fireworks display for the big night on Saturday. If you do either option, it is important to keep in mind several safety tips and regulations when handing fireworks:

The picture above shows consumer firework bans across the U.S. Washington State allows almost all consumer fireworks.  Source: American Pyrotechnics Association, National Council on Fireworks Safety

It is important to keep in mind your surroundings when setting off fireworks. Also be sure to consult with local authorities to see if the type of fireworks you own are allowed to be set off.

Making campfires is another important aspect to keep in mind for your own safety this weekend. According to the Fire Marshal Services, there is a burn ban in effect for King County, except for small recreational fires. The Fire Marshal Services further states:

Recreational fires must:

  • Be built in a metal or concrete fire pit, such as those typically found in designated campgrounds; and not be used as debris disposal;
  • Grow no larger than three feet in diameter;
  • Be located in a clear spot free from any vegetation for at least 10 feet in a horizontal direction, including at least 25 feet away from any structure and allow 20-foot vertical clearance from overhanging branches;
  • Be attended at all times by an alert individual and equipment capable of extinguishing the fire.

Please note – the use of gas and propane self-contained stoves and barbeques would continue to be allowed under the ban. For properties located within cities, please contact your local jurisdiction for requirements.

Source: http://www.kingcounty.gov/property/FireMarshal/BurnBanInfo.aspx, Updated June 25, 2015

The last factor one must keep in mind during Fourth of July Weekend is the use of sparklers. According to WWLP News, sparklers can get up to 1200 degrees Fahrenheit! This temperature is almost 2 times as much as the temperature required to burn wood, which certainly makes for a huge fire and safety hazard. While sparklers are often overlooked as lighthearted fun toys, these small sticks of snap, crackle, and pop are more hazardous than one imagines. Please use extreme caution and safety when handling sparklers, and provide even more supervision when given to youth!

Source: http://wwlp.com/2014/06/26/leave-the-fireworks-to-the-professionals/

We hope you all have a wonderful (and safe!) Fourth of July Weekend!

Sincerely,

Magnolia Insurance

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

3424 W McGraw St
Seattle, WA 98199

P.S. There will be complimentary coffee and pastries at Magnolia Insurance Agency next Wednesday, July 8th, 9:30-11:30am! Come swing by; we would love to hear how you celebrated Fourth of July.