Distracted driving


Distracted driving

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s
Policy Statement on Cellular Phone Use While Driving:

The primary responsibility of the driver is to operate a motor vehicle safely. The task of driving requires full attention and focus. Cell phone use can distract drivers from this task, risking harm to themselves and others. Therefore, the safest course of action is to refrain from using a cell phone while driving.

Q. Is it safe to use h ands-free (headset, speakerphone, or other device) cell phones while driving?

A. The available research indicates that whether it is a h ands-free or h and-held cell phone, the cognitive distraction is significant enough to degrade a driver’s performance. This can cause a driver to miss key visual and audio cues needed to avoid a crash.

Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; www.nhtsa.gov – Cell Phones and Driving

Texting while driving

Avoid distractions on the road including text messages

Despite an abundance of information pointing to an increased risk attributed to texting while driving, nearly half of drivers between ages 18 and 24 and more than a quarter of drivers between 25 and 34 admit to sending or receiving a text message while behind the wheel1. This and other distractions, like dialing a cell phone, can lead to accidents that could have been avoided.

Travelers strongly urges both teen and adult drivers to wait for the car ride to end before sending an ‘urgent’ text message or reply to an email. By eliminating distractions and staying focused on the road, drivers will make the roads safer for everyone.

1. http://knowledgebase.findlaw.com/kb/2009/Aug/32150.html

Does Bluetooth Cause Cancer?

We have all seen them. The allegedly super busy executive, walking though the grocery store, putting beer, salad fixings and various sundries in a cart, all the while talking to himself. He’s on a bluetooth,of course, but you can’t help but be amused at watching someone seemingly talking to themselves.

Yes, the Bluetooth — that little h andy device that fits inside your ear and makes your cell phone practically h ands-free. Practically, because there isn’t a bluetooth out there that can always accurately underst and the voice comm ands. But it’s pretty close to perfect technology.

Well, except for the whole cancer thing. For years, there have been discussions and concerns about cell phone and bluetooth devices causing cancer. Recently, the World Health Organization declared that cell phone could “possibly” increase the risk in brain cancer. And since a bluetooth isn’t just next to your ear, it’s IN your ear, it’s possible that it poses an even greater risk.

Sure, it’s possible to get cancer from your bluetooth device, it does emit radiation, which is proven to be cancer-causing. However, the Federal Comminication Commission and the Food and Drug Administration have determined the acceptable radiation levels for cell phones and bluetooth devices. The acceptable specific absorbtion rate (SAR) for a cell phone or bluetooth device is 1.6 watts per kilogram of body weight.

A bluetooth device has an SAR value of around 0.001 watts/kg. Can we say very little chance? Perhaps if you wore your bluetooth 24/7, it might be an issue. In 30 years. But for the typical user, it’s fine.

Now, I know that cancer is a scary topic, and many people are fearful of finding out they have it so they make sure they avoid as many cancer-causing issues as possible. But don’t you sometimes ask, “What doesn’t cause cancer?” Can you get cancer from eating a flame-broiled burger or steak? Studies suggest that you can. Can you get cancer from playing soccer in the sun for too long? Yep. What about the celebratory cigar? Definitely. So, it’s underst andable why people would question the safety of taping a mini microwave to the side of one’s head. But still, the chances of you getting cancer from using a bluetooth headset are less than the chances of you having an accident if you are trying to talk on your cell phone, or worse, trying to text while you drive. So, to answer the original question, it hasn’t been proven that you can get cancer from using a bluetooth, but it hasn’t been disproven, either. However, if the Magic 8-Ball were answering the question, the triangle die in the blue liquid would most likely state, “More than likely, no.”

Or look at it this way: Even if you ate a steak with one h and, and a burger with the other, and while smoking a cigar you completed a scissor kick and won the soccer championship your chances of getting cancer are still extremely low.

But wouldn’t you pay to see that?

Free Stuff from Insurance Agencies

It’s hard to imagine someone using the word “free” in the same sentence as insurance, but it does occasionally happen. I’m not talking about the free pen they let you keep after you sign your life away on an insurance policy. What I am talking about is the unseen benefits you may not know you are getting when you sign on with an agency or company. Yes, you pay premiums to keep your home, auto and other possessions protected to prevent financial loss, but you also need to keep in mind some of the other things that are included in the total package.

Some companies give you the basic trivial items, a stuffed duck, a calendar complete with company logo plastered all over scenes of beautiful Southern California or maybe even a fully stocked picnic basket filled with everything you need for leisurely day in the park. Those things are great but when you live in SoCal who needs a calendar full of things you see on a regular basis. An insurance agency that offers you valuable gifts on a regular basis is the one worth keeping.

Let’s face it. Nothing is ever really free. You still pay for your insurance premiums, but it’s the little things an agency does for you that constitute the extra mile they go for you without the benefit of extra compensation. One of the most important “free” things you get is peace of mind. The feeling you have when you know things are being taken care. It’s knowing that when something happens you have a company behind you that is there when you need them. Even at 2 am when you come home to find someone has broken into your home. Your insurance agent is there to help you get through it. Do they get paid for those late hours? Probably not, but they are dedicated to providing the best service possible to their customers. If that means leaving the comfort of a nice cozy bed to be there for one of his clients who is facing a disaster, so be it.

Another “free” perk is an insurance is just as reliable as your mailman. If an insured customer is left str anded in the middle of nowhere in a down pour because his car is stuck or because of an accident, his insurance agent is there with an umbrella and a ride to the nearest car rental place to make sure he gets where he needs to be.

The free pens and promotional gifts are excellent sales tools, but the free things that are important come under the heading of dedicated service and pride in the policies and companies they represent. Your insurance agent is there for you, no matter what, no matter where. Their job doesn’t end when you sign your name to the policy, it’s just beginning.