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Road Rage: We Say We’re Concerned—and STILL DO IT!

 

920x920In July of this year the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety released a new study on road rage in the U.S. The online survey included 2705 drivers; results showed that 78% reported having engaged in at least one aggressive driving behavior at least once in the past year. And while the most aggressive behaviors – getting out to confront another driver and/or bumping or ramming another vehicle – showed smaller percentages, those percentages still represent millions of drivers when projected to the entire population. (Equally as frightening: it’s likely that the percentages don’t adequately reflect the actual behavior given respondent hesitation to admit to it given how negatively road rage is viewed.)

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Procrastinators ALERT – Winter is closer than you think!

 

imagesThere’s something about seeing Labor Day pass that gets us thinking about winter. Now it’s not around the corner, but we’ve had snow storms as early as Halloween, so it’s certainly not too early to be taking steps (while the weather is still OK) to assure that your home is ready for winter. You certainly don’t want to be dealing with a roof leak or dead furnace in January! Here’s a checklist to help you work through your fall maintenance list:

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Massachusetts’ Earthquake Risk

 

 

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The recent, devastating 6.2 earthquake in central Italy reminds us that these events can occur anywhere in the world – not just around the Pacific Rim. And while every year the vast majority of quakes around the globe are small and often in remote areas, in 2015 there were 14,588 earthquakes of magnitude 4.0 or greater and 19 of magnitude 7.0 or higher.

 

 

New England: at Moderate Risk

People throughout New England generally feel that they are not at risk for damaging earthquakes. For the most part the region certainly has been spared. Still, it’s important to understand that a damaging quake is not outside the realm of possibility. (In 1755 an earthquake estimated to be between 6.0 and 6.3 struck Cape Ann.) The US Geological Survey classifies the region as being at moderate risk. (You can check out their chart here.)

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Busses…Kids…Back to School!

 

school-bus-safetyDecades ago, you would be hard pressed to find a school system starting school before Labor Day—no matter how late Labor Day fell. How things have changed. With so many major winter storms extending the calendars into late June, many districts now elect to start in late August.

 

So it’s that time of year again. Remember that you may have to adjust your schedules to account for busses potentially slowing down your commute. (Take that deep breath if you find yourself behind one making numerous stops.) And of course pay extra attention to the roadside where kids may be waiting for their busses. Read the rest of this entry »

Just thinking…about Accidents and Road Debris

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We were driving on Route 24 the other day and came up behind a car towing a small open trailer—piled high with vacation items including chairs, bicycles and a gas grill. It also included a propane tank hanging precariously out the back of the trailer. A small strap secured the neck of the tank, but that didn’t give us much confidence so we changed lanes and moved ahead of this accident waiting to happen.

 

You’ve probably seen it all, too. The mattress on the roof…held on by the driver and passengers holding onto the sides. The open trailer mounded with college kids’ completely unsecured “stuff” as they head back to school. Once we even saw a piano (no ropes or straps) on a boat trailer! What are people thinking?

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Do You Really Understand How Risky It Is To Drive Fatigued?

 

dsdrowsydriving_456pxEveryone knows the dangers of distracted driving. (Although we really wish everyone would take it very seriously.) We also all know the dangers of OUI, i.e. operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

 

But how many of us understand the dangers of driving while fatigued/drowsy. Here’s a major “wake-up call” for anyone who finds him/herself fighting to stay awake behind the wheel:

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Don’t Wait for a Data Breach to Build Your Cyber Response Plan

 

CyberIncidentHere’s a bit of unsettling information we found in a cyber risk survey of business risk managers conducted by Hartford Steam Boiler in the spring of this year:

 

Question: How many hacking scares/incidents have you experienced in the last year?

 

Answers:

1-5 aaaa 26%
6-10 24%
11-15 18%
16+ 22%
None 10%

 

 

Only ten percent have been lucky enough to avoid an incident! Read the rest of this entry »

A Case In Point: Risks of Using Online Insurance Providers

 

auto insuranceOne online insurance provider loves to tell you to “name your own price”.

Another claims that you can save “15% or more” if you take 15 minutes to have them quote your insurance.

Sure, everyone wants to save money whenever it’s possible. But a lack of knowledge of the complex variables involved in purchasing insurance for your car or home can have you paying more…and getting less. Here’s a recent example we encountered:

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Pokemon Go—Don’t Ignore Real World Playing Augmented Reality Game

 

169Pokemon Go, the new, hugely popular augmented reality game (In the first week after it was released it had 7.5 MILLION downloads) lets players ‘capture’ digital creatures as they move around real locations using their smartphones. And in an age when too many people…young and old…have become sedentary, tied to their phones and tablets, this game has the wonderfully positive potential of getting them outside, active, and potentially more social as they interact with other players.

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Ransomware—Reaching Epidemic Levels

 

padcryptSecurity experts are predicting that ransomware is going to become an even bigger problem than it is now. Kaspersky Labs — a leading antivirus and Internet security software provider —says it is so widespread already that it could easily be called epidemic. Their recent study supports that: Read the rest of this entry »